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3 More Plead Guilty in WI Fraud Case

Monday, April 23, 2018

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Three more people are pleading guilty in a $200 million case out of Wisconsin that accuses a contracting firm of creating fake minority and veteran-owned businesses in order to win federal contracts.

The Case

Brian Ganos, of contracting firm Sonag Company Inc., is charged with defrauding the government by secretly owning a string of companies that qualified for the reserved contracts.

© iStock.com /  serggn

Three more people are pleading guilty in a $200 million case out of Wisconsin that accuses a contracting firm of creating fake minority and veteran-owned businesses in order to win federal contracts.

The key to the operation, which ran for 12 years, was in establishing operating construction companies with “straw owners,” individuals who qualified as a disadvantaged or former military personnel injured during service.

Those individuals had not been charged until now.

The three defendants to plead guilty are James Hubbell, 50, of Sussex, Wisconsin; Jorge Lopez, 57, of Worthington, Minnestoa; and Telemachos Agoudemos, 43, of Big Bend, Wisconsin.

The men were “owners” of the two of the companies named in the suit: Nuvo Construction Co. and C3T Inc.

Agoudemos was purportedly the owner of C3T, while Lopez was reported to control Nuvo. Hubbell worked for Ganos as a supervisor.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Hubbell and Lopez are pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the government, while Agoudemos is pleading guilty to lying to federal agents.

Ganos is charged with 22 counts in all and has pleaded not guilty.

In light of the indictments, prosecutors have seized a Corvette Stingray, three houses and more than $2.2 million from two bank accounts.

If convicted, Ganos will face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each wire- and mail-fraud related charge, forfeiture of criminal proceeds and a $250,000 fine.

Previously, Sonag and its subsidiaries were involved in some of Milwaukee's largest construction projects, including the arena that will house the Milwaukee Bucks. Ganos qualified as a minority business owner of Sonag from 1994 to 2003, after which he graduated from the program and was no longer eligible for the set-aside contracts.

   

Tagged categories: Fraud; Good Technical Practice; Government; Government contracts; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; North America

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