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Contractors Get Jail in Tax, DOT Fraud

Monday, September 15, 2014

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Two Ohio construction executives will spend 21 months in federal prison after admitting to tax evasion and falsifying federal documents, authorities announced.

Scott Bonamase, owner of A. Bonamase Contracting Inc., and David Bonamase, a project engineer for the company, were sentenced Sept. 4 in U.S. District Court, Youngstown, OH.

A. Bonamase Contracting worked on federally funded Ohio Department of Transportation construction projects between 2007 and 2009. The projects, worth about $1.1 million, were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment (Stimulus) Act.

Guilty Pleas

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the Bonamases submitted false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, underreported employee wages, and lied on certified payroll forms that employees were paid prevailing wages.

Bonamase Contracting
©iStock / dan_prat

Scott and David Bonamase, of A. Bonamase Contracting, were sentenced to 21 months in prison for falsifying tax returns and lying on payroll forms.

Scott Bonamase was sentenced to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised released and ordered to pay $138,000 in restitution for willful failure to collect or pay tax, or for false statements.

He pleaded guilty in February to failure to pay taxes and false statements related to contracts with ODOT.

David Bonamase was sentenced to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release for willful failure to collect or pay tax.

He pleaded guilty in March to failure to collect and pay taxes. As part of the plea agreement, he agreed to a permanent debarment from future involvement in any federal government contract.

37-Count Indictment

The Bonamases were indicted in December 2012 on 37 counts after allegedly conspiring to avoid paying more than $279,000 in taxes.

The indictment alleged that A. Bonamase Contracting had about 10 to 25 employees during 2006 to 2009 and that Scott Bonamase willfully under-reported employee gross wages to the IRS. Both defendants allegedly omitted payments to employees in the books and company records.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. DOT-OIG, Department of Labor-OIG, Department of Housing and Urban Development-OIG, and the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Department of Transportation (DOT); Enforcement; Ethics; Government contracts; Laws and litigation; North America; Program/Project Management

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