On January 31, 2017, Thomas Burse, owner of Buveck Consultants, LLC, pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in U.S. District Court, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Burse admitted to providing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) fraudulent college academic transcripts, a diploma, and copies of college cover letters that claimed he had a civil engineering degree.
Burse had been approved by WisDOT as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) to perform construction inspection and management services. DBE regulations require a 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 Consultants’ DBE status to include engineering services. He falsely represented that he had bachelor of science degrees in business administration and civil engineering from two Illinois-based universities. In fact, Burse had attended these universities for approximately 1 year and did not graduate or obtain a degree from either school. Based on the false submissions, WisDOT approved the request to expand Buveck Consultants’ DBE status, and Burse fraudulently obtained approximately $1 million in engineering contracts as a DBE.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from WisDOT.