Salesman for DBE Firm Sentenced for Role in $21 Million DBE Fraud Scheme
On August 7, 2012, Tony Edmund Weekes, salesman for V.V.S.S. Co., Inc. (VVSS), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York, for his role in a $21 million Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme. Mr. Weekes was sentenced to serve three years of probation, pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. In addition, he was ordered to cooperate with the IRS in calculating the amount of unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties he owes. The judge also barred him from participating in any municipal construction contracts during his period of probation. Mr. Weekes pled guilty in 2001 and admitted that VVSS, a certified DBE, acted as a DBE "front" on approximately 35 public works construction projects for numerous general contractors in the New York City area. He further admitted that he helped negotiate some of these fraudulent subcontracts between VVSS and the general contractors.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Construction Fraud Task Force for the Eastern District of New York, whose members include the DOT OIG; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the U.S. Department of Labor OIG Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and the New York City Department of Investigation.