August 4, 2016
FHWA Suspends a Milwaukee Firm and Its Owner for DBE Fraud
On August 4, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended Thomas Burse and Buveck Consultants, LLC, from doing business with the Government. Burse was the owner, president, and chief executive officer of Buveck Consultants, LLC, a construction inspection and management services firm located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In June 2016, Burse was indicted in U.S. District Court, Milwaukee, on mail and wire fraud charges in connection with a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme.
Burse was approved by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) as a DBE to perform construction inspection and management services. DBE regulations required the DBE owner to have an overall understanding, managerial and technical competence, and experience directly related to the DBE’s operations.
Burse submitted a request to WisDOT to expand Buveck’s DBE status to include engineering services. In connection with this request, Burse submitted his resume in which he falsely represented that he had bachelor of science degrees in business administration and civil engineering from two separate Illinois-based universities. In fact, Burse had only attended these universities for approximately 1 year and did not graduate or obtain a degree from either school. Based on his false submissions, WisDOT approved Burse’s request to expand Buveck’s DBE status. Using this expanded DBE status, Burse fraudulently obtained approximately $1 million in engineering contracts as a DBE.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from WisDOT.
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.