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Brooklyn Businessman Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 41 Months In Prison For Falsely Claiming To Be A Disabled Veteran To Receive Government Contracts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Defendant Fraudulently Obtained Over $16 Million in Contracts Set Aside for Veterans and Veterans With Disabilities

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOHN RAYMOND ANTHONY WHITE was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 41 months in prison for defrauding the United States government by falsely claiming to be a disabled veteran, in order to qualify for certain government contracts worth more than $16 million, and for his efforts to cover up that fraud. WHITE was convicted in April 2011 after a five-day jury trial. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “In addition to our gratitude, the fine men and women who risk life and limb to serve our country in the military deserve every opportunity to succeed in business when they come home. And that is exactly why the programs that this defendant defrauded with impunity were created. He will now be punished for his crimes.”

According to the Indictment and the evidence presented at trial:

From June 2007 through June 2010, WHITE falsely claimed that he was both a veteran and disabled in connection with awards for four federal government construction contracts. The contracts were administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and the United States Department of the Army (“Army”) to perform work for the VA in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. One of the contracts was specifically set aside for small businesses that were owned by veterans, and the other three contracts were specifically set aside for small business that were owned by veterans with disabilities. WHITE was neither disabled, nor had he ever served in the military, but he falsely claimed to be a disabled veteran in order to obtain the contracts.

During the course of the investigation in this case, WHITE made false statements to a federal agent claiming that another person who had served in the United States military was the majority owner of his company, Mitsubishi Construction Corporation. WHITE then attempted to have that person falsely claim to the VA that he, and not WHITE, was the majority owner of the company.

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In addition to the prison term, Judge Stein sentenced WHITE, 47, of New York, New York, to three years of supervised release. WHITE was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.

The case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alvin Bragg and Lee Renzin are in charge of the prosecution.

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