Seven Ohio Businesses and Individuals Suspended for DBE Fraud
On February 7, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a total of seven suspensions related to an OIG investigation of Ohio developers, David and Sheri Oakes, and their former business partner, Sherif Aziz, dba TesTech, Inc.
Our investigation revealed that the Oakes were the actual owners of TesTech, even though Aziz represented himself as the owner and president on paper in order to convince the federal government that TesTech was eligible for special federal contracting preference under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.
On June 6, 2013, the Oakes, and Aziz agreed to pay $2,883,947, to resolve allegations that they falsely claimed DBE status on federally funded transportation projects.
David and Sheri Oakes, and Aziz were suspended by the FHWA along with four related companies, TesTech, Inc., CESO International, LLC, CESO, Inc., and CESO Testing Technology, Inc.