Construction Company Owners Pleaded Guilty to Defrauding Federal Program Intended for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
WASHINGTON (STL.News) Two Texas construction company owners have pleaded guilty in a long-running scheme to defraud the United States.
Michael Wibracht of San Antonio, Texas, the former owner of several companies in the construction industry, conspired to defraud the United States in order to obtain valuable government contracts under programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for which neither his nor his co-conspirators’ companies were eligible. One co-conspirator, Ruben Villarreal, also of San Antonio, pleaded guilty on Nov. 20, 2020, to participating in the same conspiracy.
“For many years, this conspiracy undermined the integrity of the federal procurement process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. “This conduct robbed opportunities from honest businesses, especially those owned by historically disadvantaged individuals and service-disabled veterans.”
According to court documents filed in the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, Wibracht, Villareal, and other co-conspirators conspired to defraud the United States by interfering with the function of the SBA and fraudulently obtaining money from agencies of the United States as early as 2004 continuing at least through 2017.