Leader of Real Estate Telemarketing Fraud Scheme That Defrauded Investors of Over $19 Million Sentenced to 4 Years Prison
BAY CITY – A federal grand jury indicted Andrew Semenchuk and Adam Ball, former owners and executives of Surveying Solutions, Inc. and Jeffrey Bartlett, a current owner and executive of Surveying Solutions, Inc., on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison. The indictment arises out of false statements made to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in the process of applying for and receiving highway construction and surveying contracts.
Ison was joined in the announcement by Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Andrea M. Kropf, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Midwestern Region.
Indicted were Andrew Semenchuk, age 51, of Rives Junction, Michigan, Adam Ball, age 46, of Saginaw, Michigan, and Jeffrey Bartlett, age 51, of Standish, Michigan. All were charged in the indictment as co-conspirators in one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and 13 counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Andrew Semenchuk, Adam Ball, and Jeffrey Bartlett were owners and employees of Survey Solutions, Inc., a company that was awarded millions of dollars in construction and surveying contracts by MDOT. Those contracts were funded almost entirely by federal funds through USDOT. The indictment alleges that statements made by Semenchuk, Ball, and Bartlett to MDOT and USDOT included false claims that SSI qualified as a disadvantaged business which tricked MDOT into granting SSI contract preferences. The indictment further alleges that Semenchuk, Ball, and Bartlett also reported false and fraudulent employee costs, and false and fraudulent equipment, real estate, and IT expenses which artificially inflated payments MDOT made to SSI.
“Every year USDOT entrusts millions of taxpayer dollars into programs intended to support and improve our community’s infrastructure, including the maintenance of our highways system. When the integrity of USDOT’s contracting system is damaged by individuals who cheat to obtain contracts and fraudulently inflate the expenses and costs they claim for reimbursement, the public trust is broken, and taxpayer funds are squandered. The charges in this indictment serve as a promise to the taxpaying public that such violations of the public trust will not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.
"The defendants' alleged actions to personally profit through their fraud scheme, which created an unfair competitive market for other businesses to earn contracts, is particularly disturbing," said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. "The FBI is uniquely poised to investigate fraud cases with financial intricacies like those documented in this case. We commend our partner law enforcement agencies for their assistance in taking strong action against those who seek to corrupt the integrity and fair administration of government programs."
“The indictment announced today demonstrates our commitment to working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to identify and put an end to this extensive fraud scheme,” stated Andrea M. Kropf, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Midwestern Region. “We will continue to hold accountable those who knowingly defraud the Federal government and put taxpayer dollars at risk.”
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, Bartlett, Semenchuk, and Ball face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 5 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States, and 20 years in prison for each of the 13 counts of wire fraud. If convicted, a federal district court judge would determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.