On January 19, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, VJ Associates, Inc. (VJA) of Suffolk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced pursuant to a previously made settlement agreement. The settlement agreement required VJA of Suffolk and its affiliated entities to pay a total of $3.13 million in criminal and civil fines and restitution and be permanently excluded from participation in federally funded contracts.
According to the information, from at least January 2007 through August 2018, VJA of Suffolk—the largest and original VJA entity—conspired with other VJA entities to bill false and unnecessary hours to Government construction projects. VJA has office locations in Washington DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and provided sub-contracted estimating and scheduling services for these projects. The projects were funded by DOT, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the State of New York. The entities created false timekeeping records overstating the number of hours that VJA employees actually worked and billing projects for fees based on these records. Employees openly discussed the improper billing as “juicing” and “tagging” hours in order to “maximize” bills for Government projects.