August 25, 2016
Co-Owner of Syracuse Suburban Airport Debarred by FAA for 3 Years
On August 25, 2016, FAA debarred Kenneth Coon, Jr., from Federal contracting for a period of 3 years. The debarment was based on the criminal conviction of Coon, who pleaded guilty in 2014 in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, New York, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Coon was sentenced in August 2016 to 5 years of Federal supervision and ordered to pay restitution of $222,604 to First Niagara Bank (FNB).
Coon was an owner of Syracuse Suburban Airport (SSA), designated by the FAA as a reliever airport for Syracuse International Airport. SSA had purchased 93 acres in Hastings, New York, on which to develop the reliever airport. Between 2004 and 2009, SSA received five FAA grants totaling $2.97 million to be used for planning and development of the reliever airport. SSA established a line of credit from FNB, and loan proceeds, reimbursable by the FAA grants, were to be used solely for airport expenditures. Instead, Coon and coconspirators devised a scheme to submit false and fraudulent invoices to FNB to purportedly pay for airport equipment. In reality, approximately $125,000 was diverted to an unrelated real estate project in Texas, and approximately $97,604 was diverted to an unrelated bean factory, owned by Coon, in upstate New York.
DOT-OIG is working this investigation jointly with the FBI.
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 out whether a company is currently excluded.