Massachusetts Company Pleads Guilty in Connection with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Fraud
On February 25, 2016, Transit Safety Management, Inc. (TSM), a consulting company in Georgetown, MA, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Boston, MA, to one count of making a false statement to a State agency in order to maintain its status as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE). As part of the plea agreement, TSM has agreed to pay a fine of $84,000 and dissolve its operations.
TSM provided consulting services to the railroad industry, focusing on safety and operations management. Shortly after it was founded in 1999, TSM’s owner certified the company as a DBE. As such, TSM was able to take advantage of Federal regulations aimed at promoting the participation of minority and disadvantaged businesses in federally-funded public construction contracts. In order to maintain its DBE certification, TSM had to make yearly affirmations that it was still eligible and that nothing had changed that would affect its eligibility for its DBE status. Despite this, TSM lied about whether it met the criteria for DBE status. According to court documents, TSM’s owner was hired as a full-time employee with a Federal agency in 2005. As a full time Federal employee, TSM’s purported manager could not control TSM in accordance with the DBE regulations. Nevertheless, TSM failed to disclose this change and continued to make its yearly affirmations to maintain is DBE status.
TSM was a certified DBE in numerous States including Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, California, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Washington, and the District of Columbia, and has performed work on federally funded contracts throughout the country.