March 16, 2017
Houston Business Owner Indicted in a Scheme To Defraud FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program
On March 16, 2017, the U.S. District Court, Houston, Texas, unsealed a 10-count indictment charging Shonda Renee Stubblefield, a.k.a Shonda McGowan, in a scheme to fraudulently receive over $125,000 in Federal funds through FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. On February 22, 2017, Stubblefield was indicted, and an arrest warrant was issued, charging her with theft of public money, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
FHWA’s CMAQ program provides funding to reduce congestion and improve air quality in areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) administered a program funded by FHWA to provide financial incentives to companies to participate in telework. Stubblefield owned World Corporation, a company that gained entry into the HGAC telework program.
The indictment alleged that Stubblefield falsely claimed that World Corporation operated, and had recruited teleworkers for the HGAC telework program. Over an approximately 2 year-period, Stubblefield received CMAQ funds totaling $125,659 in reimbursement for business costs associated with an expansion of the World Corporation telework program that never occurred.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.