Florida couple pleads guilty to fraud charges
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Nomiki Vavlas, 50, and Michael Vavlas, 52, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, pled guilty to committing fraud against the United States today, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Nomika and Michael Valvlas own and operate VHP Enterprises, Inc, a company that specializes in painting and sandblasting. They were awarded a federal contract to paint bridges in Braxton County, WV from August 2011 through September 2012. The project was subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires employers to pay a minimum hourly wage rate to all employees. The Vavlas’ did not pay the full wage rate for overtime hours worked by project employees and falsified payroll reports that were delivered to the West Virginia Division of Highways Office by the United States Postal Service.
The each pled guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Commit Mail Fraud.” They face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The investigation was led by the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.