Close X
Attorney Spotlight

How does Jordana Nelson's prior experience as a general counsel inform her work with firm clients? Read more>

Search

Close X

Experience

Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

The M&A Advisor Winner 2017The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Monday, November 13 at the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards. Bass, Berry & Sims was named a winner in the two categories related to the following deals:

M&A Deal of the Year (from $1B-$5B) – Acquisition of CLARCOR Inc. by Parker Hannifin Corporation

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year (over $1B) – Acquisition of BNC Bancorp by Pinnacle Financial Partners

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

Read now

GovCon Blog: Business Owner Sentenced for Fraudulent "Pass-Through" Contract Scheme

Publications

July 1, 2015

Recently, U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Wesley Burnett of Hermosa Beach, California to 42 months in prison followed by three years supervised release for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $2.8 million in federal government contracts through the use of the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, designed to assist disadvantaged businesses. Burnett originally pled guilty to these charges back in October of 2014. 

Burnett was the owner and operator of Confederate Group LLC and Total Barrier Works (TBW). These companies maintained and installed anti-terrorist systems and vehicle-control equipment such as security barriers, bollards, gates, uninterrupted power systems (UPS) and other perimeter security anti-terrorist equipment.

From 2007 until 2014, Burnett admitted that he falsely represented to the U.S. Government that Confederate Group LLC was a "Hispanic-American Owned Business," a "Minority Owned Business," a "Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business" and a "Small Disadvantaged Business" in order to win federal government contracts set aside exclusively for firms in these categories. However, Burnett was neither a member of any of these racial or ethnic minority groups nor a disabled veteran nor member of a socially disadvantaged group. These false representations resulted in Confederate Group LLC receiving approximately $534,315 in unjustified contract awards.

Furthermore, Burnett admitted to devising a scheme involving "pass-through" contracts. Burnett recruited various individuals' companies, who did in fact qualify for these set-aside contracts, by offering them a percentage of the total value of any contract he won using their companies' names. Pursuant to this arrangement, Burnett, under the guise of these companies, would bid on these set-aside contracts. However, these companies were serving as mere shells or conduits by which all of the actual work was passed through to Burnett and TBW. To further this "pass-through" arrangement, Burnett falsely represented that TBW was a trade name for these various companies that were awarded the contract when in all actuality TBW was a wholly separate and distinct company. Burnett knew that this would allow Burnett and others working under his direction at TBW to perform work on these contracts without detection.

For example, Burnett executed this scheme with Yogesh K. Patel, the owner of United Native Technologies (UNTI). UNTI was certified as a minority or social disadvantaged business and thus was eligible for certain set-aside government contracts. Burnett and Patel met at a business conference wherein they agreed to use UNTI to bid on SBA set aside contracts. Under this arrangement, UNTI was fraudulently awarded more than $1.8 million in set-aside U.S. government contracts, while the work on the contracts was actually performed by Burnett's company and employees. Patel, of Gaithersburg, Maryland also pled guilty to his role in the scheme and awaits sentencing.

In his plea agreement, Burnett admitted to similar arrangements with other 8(a) firms, including fraudulently obtaining the personal identifying information of a service-disabled veteran to use to bid on government contracts.

Read more about government contracts on www.BassBerryGovCon.com.


Related Professionals

Related Services

Notice

Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.