Delaware Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Federally-Funded Job Placement Program In Wire Fraud Case
WILMINGTON, Del. David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that William A. Brown (“Brown”) pled guilty in federal court today to a charge of wire fraud. Brown’s sentencing is scheduled for December 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. before the Honorable Leonard P. Stark, United States District Judge for the District of Delaware. Brown faces a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Brown, age 51, of Felton, Delaware, was previously a job placement counselor at Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. (“Connections”). During 2015 and 2016, Connections contracted with the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (“DVR”) to help that organization provide employment counseling and job placement services to individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides funding for DVR and sets programmatic goals; DVR receives 80% of its funding through federal government programs.
As part of a multi-year fraud on DVR, Brown submitted falsified client paperwork and created bogus client paystubs so that DVR would pay Connections for completed client services. By submitting over thirty false documents over a two-year period, Brown not only caused the payment of excess funds to Connections, he made Connections’ services appear more successful than they actually were and so improved his own job security.
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to helping our investigative partners target fraud like that committed by the defendant. The mission of Delaware’s DVR is to enhance employment opportunities for individuals recovering from addiction. By falsifying client paperwork, the defendant improved his own employment position at Connections at the expense of recovering individuals in need of legitimate employment assistance.”
“The FBI takes our responsibility to investigate and pursue those who commit fraud for personal gain very seriously," said Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the FBI’s Baltimore Division. "We will continue working with our Delaware law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who use illegal means and criminal behavior to take advantage of others.”
Today’s guilty plea shows that Mr. Brown knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust at the expense of America’s taxpayers and the clients he promised to serve – those individuals recovering from addiction” said Geoffrey Wood, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Eastern Regional Office. “I’m proud of the work of OIG Special Agents our law enforcement colleagues for their work in this matter and for holding Mr. Brown accountable for his criminal actions.”
“The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General is committed to investigating allegations of fraud related to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of services designed to strengthen and improve America’s workforce,” said Marc Walker, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI-Baltimore Division’s Wilmington Office, U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Cloud.