Steel Construction Companies to Pay $440,000.00 to Settle DBE Fraud Allegations
On January 27, 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Illinois announced a $440,000.00 settlement with United Ironworkers (“United”), D&K Welding Services (“D&K”), Kim Rasnick (United’s President), and Dorrie Wise- Harris (D&K’s President) to settle a civil False Claims Act investigation. United and D&K are steel construction companies working on highway and bridge companies.
The U.S. Attorney alleged that United (a non-Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”)) conspired with D&K “to provide materially false representations and information regarding ownership and control of D&K for DBE certification and recertification purposes.”
According to the U.S. Attorney, “the DBE program is designed to provide business opportunities to minority and women owned businesses. Funds designated for that purpose should not be misallocated to businesses masquerading as legitimate DBEs.”
You can read more details in the Department of Justice press release here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdil/pr/us-settles-dispute-over-disadvantaged-business-enterprise-fraud.
Also of note, the owners of another steel construction firm brought the allegations to light, and will receive $79,200 from the settlement proceeds under the False Claims Act.