Former Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Owner Indicted for Fraud
On December 18, 2014, Elizabeth Perino, former owner, Perdel Contracting Company (Perdel), Chicago, Illinois, was indicted in U.S. District Court, and charged in a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme. Perdel specialized in concrete and carpentry work and was certified as a DBE in the city of Chicago.
The indictment alleged that in 2011, Perino, along with a co-conspirator, agreed to have Perdel act as a pass through DBE by making it falsely appear as though Perdel would provide labor and equipment on a multi-million dollar project at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (O’Hare). Perino falsified various Perdel documents in order to disguise the fact that Perdel did not meet the DBE requirements, and thus the prime contractor did not either. Perdel did not perform any labor or provide any equipment. As part of the scheme, Perdel was to purchase equipment from the prime contractor to make it appear as if they had the proper equipment to perform the work. At the conclusion of the project, Perdel would sell the equipment back to the prime contractor. Further, all workers and equipment were provided by the prime contractor and loaned to Perdel to make it appear Perdel was actually completing the contracted work.
We are conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Labor / Office of Inspector General.
Note: Indictments, informations and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.