LUTHERSVILLE MAN INDICTED FOR ENTERING INTO SET-ASIDE CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE-DISABLED VETERANS UNDER FALSE PRETENSES
November 10, 2011
ATLANTA, GA - ARTHUR WAYNE SINGLETON, 62, of Luthersville, Georgia, has been indicted on fraud charges for obtaining federal contracts reserved for service-disabled veterans, under false pretenses. SINGLETON was arraigned on the indictment yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This defendant allegedly took advantage of a service-disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, using the veteran’s name and disabled status to gain millions of dollars in federal contracts. Fraud like this deprives legitimate disabled veteran-owned small businesses of the opportunity to enter into construction contracts with the government.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: SINGLETON was the owner of “Singleton Enterprises” and had thirty years of construction experience. In 2007, he approached a Vietnam War veteran who was bedridden from multiple surgeries related to his war injuries, and proposed the idea of starting a joint venture that would use the veteran’s disabled status to obtain federal government contracts that are set aside for companies with majority ownership byu service-disabled veterans. When the veteran agreed to help, SINGLETON formed “GMT Mechanical and GMT Mechanical - Singleton Enterprises - a Joint Venture,” using the veteran’s name.
The indictment alleges that, from September 2007 through September 2008, SINGLETON entered into contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to perform construction work around the country. SINGLETON used the veteran’s status to bid on the contracts, all of which were reserved for small businesses owned and operated by service-disabled veterans. However, SINGLETON allegedly knew that GMT Mechanical and the purported Joint Venture were ineligible for the contracts, since the veteran performed no work for either company, did not have an ownership stake, and did not control the management or daily operations of either business. SINGLETON received approximately $2.85 million dollars from February 2008 through May 2010 for performing on the fraudulently-obtained contracts.
The indictment charges SINGLETON with 14 counts of wire fraud and one count of major fraud against the United States. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, and the major fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Small Business Administration, the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant United States Attorney Shanya J. Dingle is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.