The owner of a Pennsylvania environmental company is facing several years in prison after he admitted misusing his minority business status to obtain a Navy contract, then padding the bill.
Michael Fullard, president of Fullard Environmental Controls (FEC) in Ford City, PA, waived indictment and pleaded guilty Tuesday (July 17) to two federal charges of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry in Pittsburgh.
U.S. Marine Corps
|The Navy was duped into paying $2.2 million for an $800,000 demolition job at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, prosecutors said.|
Fullard, 51, of Apollo, PA, faces 21 to 46 months in prison. He will also forfeit the $772,000 he pocketed from the contract.
Prosecutors said Fullard Environmental provided demolition services in 2007 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort (SC).
The Navy awarded Fullard a $2.2 million contract for the work through the Small Business Administration’s minority-firm set-aside program. The Navy paid the bill in five installments in 2007 and 2008.
What the Navy did not know, according to prosecutors, was that Fullard had already hired a subcontractor, Yannuzzi & Sons Wrecking & Recycling, of Hillsborough, NJ, to do the actual work for $800,000.
Prosecutors said Fullard and company vice president B. Kent Peterson provided the Navy with false figures in 2006 about their profit on the job and the number of workers required.
Neither Peterson nor Yannuzzi was charged in the scheme, which was investigated by the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Prosecutors were unavailable to discuss the case.
Minority Business Enterprise
Fullard, who is black, started his company in 2000 as an asbestos- and lead-paint removal firm, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
He has been awarded many contracts as a minority enterprise and worked on numerous government projects in the Pittsburgh area, including the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in Oakland and Butler, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh School District, the newspaper reported.
Fullard, who remains free on $25,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 16. He could not be reached for comment.