Wisconsin Company and Its Owner To Pay $629,732 To Resolve Allegations of DBE Fraud
On September 12, 2018, Nicholas Rivecca, Sr., and his company, Sonag Ready Mix, LLC, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, agreed to pay $629,732, to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by defrauding DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. That amount included $319,343.25 designated as restitution,
The DBE program provides small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts. At the time of the alleged fraud, Sonag Ready Mix was not eligible to participate in the DBE program. The Government alleged that Rivecca and others conspired to obtain fraudulent DBE certification for another entity, Nuvo Construction Company, Inc. (Nuvo). Then they used that improper DBE certification to obtain ready-mix concrete contracts in Nuvo’s name, although Sonag Ready Mix performed almost all of the work. All of the profits from the Nuvo contracts passed through to Sonag Ready Mix and ultimately to Rivecca and his co-owner.
This settlement resolves civil allegations that Rivecca and Sonag Ready Mix caused the submission of false claims to the Government and thus improperly obtained Government funds.
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.