April 3, 2018
Four Charged in Wisconsin Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme Involving Over $200 Million in Government Contracts
On April 3, 2018, an information was filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, against Nicholas Rivecca, owner, Sonag Ready Mix. Subsequently, on April 18, 2018, informations were filed against Jorge Lopez, owner, Nuvo Construction; Telemachos Aguodemos, owner, and James Hubbell, employee, at C3T, Inc. Rivecca, Lopez, and Hubbell were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States. Aguodemos was charged with making false statements.
According to the information, the scheme involved Rivecca, Lopez, Aguodemos, Hubbell, Brian Ganos, and others who operated construction companies with straw owners who qualified as disadvantaged individuals or service-disabled veterans but did not actually control the companies. The participants fraudulently obtained Small Business Program certifications to obtain millions of dollars in Government-funded contracts to which they were not entitled.
Nuvo Construction was certified as a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) and listed as owned and operated by Lopez. C3T was a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, listed as owned and operated by Aguodemos. Ganos allegedly ran and controlled both Nuvo Construction and C3T. Ganos utilized Nuvo’s DBE status for Sonag Ready Mix, which was not DBE-qualified, to secure Government contracts.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, Small Business Administration OIG, General Services Administration OIG, Army Criminal Investigation Division, and Department of Defense OIG.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.