May 5, 2017
FHWA Suspends Houston Business Owner and Company for Defrauding the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program
On May 5, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended Shonda Renee Stubblefield (a.k.a. Shonda McGowan) and her Houston, Texas-based company, World Corporation, Inc. (World Corporation), from doing business with the Government. The suspensions were based on a February 22, 2017, indictment that charged Stubblefield with theft of public money, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft in a scheme to fraudulently receive over $125,000 in Federal funds through FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
The 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, and World Corporation gained entry into the HGAC telework program.
The indictment alleged that Stubblefield falsely claimed World Corporation operated and 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’s telework program that had never occurred.
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.