Owners of Groveland Companies Charged for Defrauding Government Contracting Programs
BOSTON – Three men were charged today in federal court in Boston with conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain government contracts.
Frank Apicella, 63, of Groveland, Mass.; Michael Sforza, 59, of Alpharetta, Ga.; and James Apicella, 37, of Kingston, NH, were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of mail fraud.
According to the charging document, beginning in 2011 the defendants used Tactical Office Solutions (TOS), a company run by James Apicella, to bid for and obtain government contract work that was set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) companies. Although the work was bid by and awarded to TOS based under these set-aside programs, the work was actually mostly performed by FENS, a company owned and operated by Frank Apicella and Michael Sforza that was not eligible for these contracts.
The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of mail fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jeffrey K. Stachowiak, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Northeast Field Office; Luis Hernandez, Special Agent in Charge of the General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, New England Regional Office; and Michael Conner, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Army, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Criminal Investigation Command, made the announcement today. The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Miron Bloom of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit and Annapurna Balakrishna of Lelling’s Civil Division are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.