Investigations

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Previously Convicted Former State Representative Sentenced for Obstruction of Justice and Debarred by FTA

On August 17, 2018, U.S. District Court, Boston, Massachusetts, sentenced John George, Jr., a former Dartmouth, Massachusetts, selectman, to 5 months in prison, 1 year supervised release, and a forfeiture of $250,000. He had been charged with concealing approximately $2.5 million in cash and valuables from the court after his 2015 sentence proceedings. In March 2018, George pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. 

In April 2015, George was convicted at trial of conspiracy and embezzlement of Federal funds while he was the president and owner of the Union Street Bus Company (USBC). USBC served as the operator for the Southern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), which serves 10 communities in southeastern Massachusetts and receives millions in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). From 2007 to 2011, SRTA paid USBC over $1 million to manage and operate the public bus transit service, including funds for salaries, benefits, and other expenses. The investigation disclosed that George misused Federal funds by paying several employees to work on his personal produce farm during regular working hours. 

Required to disclose his financial status to the court after his sentencing, George reported that he possessed approximately $28,000 in cash. However, in December 2015 and January 2016, Federal law enforcement agents recovered more than $2.5 million in cash, as well as Rolex watches and jewelry he had concealed in safe deposit boxes in two cities in Massachusetts, New Bedford and Fairhaven. 

In July 2015, George was sentenced to 70 months in prison, restitution of $688,772, and forfeiture of $1.38 million for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from SRTA. On August 13, 2018, FTA debarred George and his two companies, USBC and Trans-AG Management, Inc., for 6 years.

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 whether a company is currently excluded.