Business Owner Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Fraudulent Billing Scheme Against Federal Government
Company Improperly Received More Than $1.1 Million
WASHINGTON – Nikita Davis, 48, a business owner with a firm in Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for a scheme in which she improperly qualified for government contracts and then fraudulently billed the United States more than $1.1 million.
U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Peggy E. Gustafson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Carol Fortine Ochoa, Inspector General of the U.S. General Services Administration, made the announcement.
Davis pled guilty in June 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to major fraud against the United States. She was sentenced by the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan. The plea agreement calls for her to pay $1,189,697 in restitution to the United States. Upon completion of her prison term, Davis will be placed on three years of supervised release.
Davis was the president and chief executive officer of Federal Acquisition Consultants Inc. (FACI), a company based in Washington, D.C., that specialized in acquisition and program management support. The company was formed in 2007 as an economically disadvantaged, woman-owned, small business.
According to a statement of offense submitted at the plea hearing, Davis made fraudulent representations when she applied in March 2013 for a contract under a GSA program created to streamline the federal procurement process through pre-negotiated prices and terms. GSA provided centralized procurement for the federal government through this program, known as the GSA Multiple Awards Schedule Program (GSA MAS).
The GSA awarded Davis’s company a GSA MAS contract designation in May 2013. Later in 2013, the Department of Commerce solicited requests for quotes from GSA MAS contractors for work related to the mission of the Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force. The Task Force, part of the Commerce Department, aimed to facilitate and coordinate activities designed to help Afghanistan develop a sustainable economy, stabilize the market, and create strong Afghan-American partnerships.
Davis’s company submitted quotes and in September of 2013 was awarded seven contracts, worth a total of more than $3.1 million. In April 2014, the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General initiated an investigation into Davis and the company, based on an allegation that she submitted false invoices and made false statements to government agencies. The investigation revealed that, in obtaining the GSA MAS contract designation, Davis made false representations about her company’s past work experience. It also determined that Davis’s company improperly billed and collected from the government a total of $1,189,697 under the contracts by billing improperly for travel, danger pay, insurance, security and labor.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Inspector General Ochoa, and Inspector General Gustafson commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Offices of the Inspector General for the General Services Administration and Department of Commerce. They also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Howie and Paralegal Specialist Aisha Keys. Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Miller, who prosecuted the case.