Former Vice President of a Massachusetts Business is Sentenced
On November 30, 2011, Christopher Willson, former senior vice-president of EV Worldwide LLC (EVW), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Boston, Massachusetts, to a prison term of a year and a day followed by six months supervised release, payment of $100,000 in restitution to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and a special assessment of $1,100.
EVW and its wholly-owned subsidiary, ElectraStor LLC, received funding from FTA through the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) to develop a nickel-hydride battery to power a bus. EVW received approximately $4.2 million in FTA funds between 2000 and 2006.
The investigation disclosed that between November 2004 and July 2006, former EVW CEO Michael Armitage and Mr. Willson conspired to defraud FTA by submitting fraudulent invoices to FTA through PVTA which claimed that the FTA share of project costs did not exceed the 50% level required under the terms of the funding and sought reimbursement for fictitious, inflated, or ineligible expenses. Through proceeds from the invoices, Mr. Armitage and Mr. Willson received wire transfers of approximately $703,000 which they used for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of HSM Systems, Inc., a Canadian company they had founded.
The investigation was conducted jointly with IRS-CID and assisted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency.