Chicago Airport Contractor Debarred by FAA for DBE Fraud
On November 18, 2015, Sound Solutions Windows & Doors, LLC (Sound Solutions) was debarred by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a period of 3 years for utilizing a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) pass-through on an FAA funded contract. Previously, in May 2015, a $5.8 million civil judgment was entered in U.S. District Court, Chicago, Illinois, against Sound Solutions.
In December 2009, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters filed a Civil Complaint alleging Sound Solutions violated the False Claims Act. The Qui Tam alleged that in 2008, Sound Solutions used a DBE, FCJ Real Estate Development Company, Inc., as a conduit or "pass-through" to obtain the appearance of DBE participation on the O'Hare International Airport, Residential Sound Insulation Program contracts funded by FAA, Airport Improvement Program grants.
Sound Solutions submitted ten claims for payment on the O'Hare contract for window replacement, each certifying that all work was performed and all materials were supplied in accordance with the terms and conditions of the construction contract between the City of Chicago and Sound Solutions. The final two claims in 2009 and 2010 each contained a DBE Status Report signed by the president of Sound Solutions, certifying that over $2.3 million was paid under the contract to valid DBE subcontractors, when in fact it was not.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management "Sam.gov" should be consulted to find whether a company is currently excluded.