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Pennsylvania Company Owner Jailed Seven Years and Ordered to Pay Over $652,000 for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Fraud and Other Schemes

On September 19, Shamsud-din Ali, owner of Keystone Information and Financial Services (KIFS) was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to seven years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay $365,439 in restitution and forfeit $286,646. In June 2005, Ali was found guilty on 22 racketeering and fraud charges relating to an airport concession as well as non-DOT contracts. The five-year cellular phone tower concession contract at the Philadelphia International Airport (valued over $1 million and containing DBE requirements subject to FAA regulation) was awarded by the City of Philadelphia in August 2001 to AAT Communications Corp. (AAT). AAT subcontracted with KIFS, a DBE. Ali received $1,700 a month from Richard Meehan, a former AAT manager, even though Ali performed no services on the contract. Ali kicked back $500 of each payment to Meehan for his assistance in creating and maintaining the false appearance that KIFS was the minority-owned subcontractor, and with developing other subcontract opportunities for KIFS that permitted the firm to receive commissions without performing any work.

Meehan pled guilty in March 2005, admitting to receiving a total of $7,000 in kickbacks from Ali. He was sentenced on June 30, 2005 to three years’ probation and fined $10,000. Potential debarment of KIFS is under consideration by the FAA. The investigation was conducted jointly with the FBI, the IRS, and the Department of Education.