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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 15, 2021

Cheektowaga Contractor Agrees To Settle False Claims Act Violations

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Strock Contracting, Inc., of Cheektowaga, NY, has agreed to enter into a consent judgment with the United States for $4,752,000 to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act. The United States filed an action in federal court alleging that Strock Contracting profited financially after fraudulently obtaining federal contracts intended to benefit service-disabled veterans.

In order to be eligible for contracts that are reserved for service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses, firms must be both owned and controlled by a service-disabled veteran. The United States alleged that Strock Contracting, which was not owned or controlled by a veteran, recruited a service-disabled veteran to create a pass-through company, known as Veterans Enterprises Company, Inc. (VECO), which the company and its owner, Lee Strock, actually controlled. In its complaint, the United States alleged that the company carried out this scheme by directing VECO to submit false certifications of eligibility to the government, which allowed Strock Contracting to obtain substantial profits on numerous federal contracts which should have been awarded to eligible companies. Strock Contracting allegedly profited from these contracts through phony loans, sham lease agreements, and other deceitful financial arrangements.

The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, with assistance from the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Small Business Administration OIG, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Army Criminal Investigation Division.

The matter was handled by Trial Attorney Glenn Harris of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section) and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Coriell of the Western District of New York.

The lawsuit is captioned United States v. Strock Contracting, Inc., et al., No. 15-CV-887-G (W.D.N.Y). 

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Topic(s): 
False Claims Act
Updated October 19, 2021