Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Anthony Nwagbara Daniels, a/k/a “Tony Daniels,” age 59, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today on wire fraud charges arising from a scheme to defraud the United States by fraudulently obtaining a government contract.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Brigadier General Keith M. Givens, Commander Air Force Office of Special Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General Peggy E. Gustafson.
Daniels was the Chief Executive Officer of Danison, Inc., a general contracting company he formed in 2004. Danison had no full-time employees besides Daniels, but occasionally employed temporary help for construction-related jobs. On November 14, 2009, Danison was certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as an 8(a) Program business. In order to qualify for the 8(a) Program, businesses must be at least 51-percent owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Participants in the 8(a) Program were eligible to bid on sole source government contracts that were reserved for companies in the 8(a) Program.
According to the five-count indictment, from 2011 through 2014 Daniels engaged in a scheme to defraud the U.S. government. Specifically, in 2011, the U.S. Air Force sought a contractor for a demolition contract on Joint Base Andrews (JBA). The indictment alleges that Daniels formed an agreement with Individual A whereby Daniels’ company, Danison, would bid on the JBA demolition contract, and would subcontract with Individual A’s company to perform substantially all of the work on the contract. Individual A’s company had demolition experience, but was not eligible to bid on the project because the company’s annual revenues were too high. On September 29, 2011, JBA accepted Danison’s bid of $1,160,683.43 and awarded the contract to Danison.
The indictment alleges that Daniels emailed Air Force personnel, falsely assuring them that Danison was the prime contractor and was performing the majority of the work on the JBA demolition contract. In fact, Individual A’s company performed the work and Individual A prepared false invoices for electronic submission to the United States through Danison as if Danison had performed the work. Daniels approved and caused the submission of each invoice to the United States for payment. Daniels knew that the invoices were false because they failed to disclose that Individual A’s company performed the work and Daniels’ company was simply a pass-through for the billing. Daniels further knew that the invoices included costs and expenses for payment that were false.
Finally, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of at least $1,158,387.74, including $367,378.82 seized from bank accounts maintained by Daniels.
Daniels faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of five counts of wire fraud. An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was formed in October 2006 to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force includes the United States Attorneys= Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, DCIS, and the SBA Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys David I. Salem and Thomas H. Barnard, who are prosecuting the case.