Friday, July 25 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:23:15 GMT
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Southwest Florida investigators are looking into a disturbing photo posted online. It shows a man holding a cat by it's "scruff" and pointing a gun at its head. The FacebookMore >>
Southwest Florida investigators are looking into a disturbing photo posted online. It shows a man holding a cat by it's "scruff" and pointing a gun at its head.More >>
The federal government gave Boggs Paving, a big Charlotte-area company, millions of taxpayer dollars. Now Boggs is facing fraud charges.
Boggs Paving is based in Monroe, but has satellite offices throughout the state, and in a 29-count indictment, the government charges it and its executives with crimes from conspiracy to defraud the federal government to money laundering and more.
According to the indictment, Boggs managed to win 37 federal construction contracts worth almost $88 million dollars over the past ten years by agreeing to give a boost to minority-owned businesses. Boggs was supposed to be working with subcontractors known as
DBEs - short for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises - hiring them to help complete a portion of the government work.
Essentially, DBEs are businesses either owned or operated by socially and economically disadvantaged people. The government tries to help them land work.
But the Fed says Boggs greatly exaggerated how much it was using those sub-contractors, actually completing most of the work on its own, then funneling the money it would have paid them into a bank account, and eventually taking most of the money back.
The indictment says Boggs went so far as to use props: fixing magnetic decals with one DBE company's logo on its own trucks, and copying that company's letterhead to create phony contracts.
According to the indictment, one of the DBEs, a Waxhaw trucking company called Styx Cuthbertson, is accused of helping Boggs deceive the government in return for kickbacks. We could reach no owners or managers at Styx Thursday. We also called Boggs repeatedly and went to its headquarters in Monroe, where a secretary mouthed ‘no comment' through the locked front doors.