Local Business Owner Convicted of Conspiring to Defraud the VA
HOUSTON – A 55-year-old Pearland resident has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Henry Guillory admitted that beginning on Nov. 21, 2012, he was engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
The VA awards contracts to qualified companies that disabled veterans own as part of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program.
Guillory recruited a service disabled veteran to falsely claim majority ownership of a Houston-based company named MEP Sales and Service (MEP), while Guillory, the true majority owner, claimed minority ownership. This was done so as to get MEP certified as a SDVOSB thereby providing MEP the ability to be awarded contracts. Because of their fraudulent claims, MEP was wrongfully awarded 12 VA small business set-aside contracts totaling more than $1.6 million that should have been given to legitimate veteran-owned small businesses. All 12 of these set-aside contracts were for maintenance and/or construction work at the DeBakey VA Medical Center.
U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted the plea and set sentencing for July 12, 2018, at which time Guillory faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
VA - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.