Company president admits cheating Navy
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The president of an Armstrong County environmental company that tore down a South Carolina building for the U.S. Navy admitted Tuesday that he lied in securing the contract under a minority set-aside program and then defrauded the government.
Michael M. Fullard, 51, who runs Fullard Environmental Controls in Ford City, waived indictment by grand jury and pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry.
Mr. Fullard and vice president B. Kent Peterson failed to disclose required information in bidding for the job through the Small Business Administration's minority-firm program, according to a summary by the U.S. attorney's office.
Mr. Fullard, who is black, started his company in 2000 as an asbestos- and lead-paint removal firm. He has been awarded many contracts as a minority enterprise and worked on numerous government projects locally, including the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in Oakland and Butler, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh School District.
In the South Carolina case, the Navy offered $2.2 million for partial demolition of the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.
But Mr. Fullard and Mr. Peterson, who is not charged and is identified in court papers only as "BKP," did not reveal hiring a subcontractor, Yannuzzi and Sons, to do the work for $800,000.
In negotiating with the Navy, Mr. Fullard and Mr. Peterson also gave false figures about the number of their workers on the job and said their profit would be $185,000, according to the government's evidence.
The building was demolished and Mr. Fullard's company submitted five invoices for payment, which the Navy paid in installments in 2007 and 2008.
The wire fraud counts pertain to two wire transfers in 2007 by the Navy from a Federal Reserve branch in Atlanta to a Fullard Environmental account at First National Bank in Hermitage.
As part of his plea, Mr. Fullard will forfeit $772,700 seized by the government as fraudulent proceeds. Sentencing is in November and he faces a range of 21 to 46 months in prison. He remains free on a $25,000 bond until then.
First Published July 18, 2012 12:00 am