SALT LAKE CITY — A Lehi man has pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in a fraud scheme that sought government contracts set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, 44-year-old Stanley Raass of Lehi pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in federal court Tuesday.
The plea agreement includes a stipulated sentence of 24 months, pending court approval, and a fine of $640,000.
The ploy was aimed at securing government contracts set aside for companies considered Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. To qualify for SDVOSB grants, the company must be 50 percent owned by a service-disabled veteran and daily operations must be managed and controlled by a service-disabled veteran.
Authorities allege Raass owned a construction company but created a second company that listed a relative as 51% owner and himself as 49% owner. The relative is a service-disabled veteran, but was not actually managing that second company. Raass himself never served in the United States Military, the press release states.
Raass admitted to authorities he used that second company to secure SDVOSB grants, even though he knew the company did not actually meet the requirements for an SDVOSB grant. The man obtained 11 contracts between 2009 and 2013, amounting to a total of $16,517,912 in payments from the government.
“The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business procurement program is to help and honor our veterans, not steal from them,” said Las Vegas Field Office Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan. “Stanley Raass created an elaborate scheme with no purpose other than defrauding the government and other disabled veterans for his own personal gain. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to assist its other law enforcement partners with our unique skills in following the money.”
Sentencing is scheduled for May of 2018.