Business Allegedly Makes False Representation to Qualify for Government Aid

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
on September 26, 2017

Business Development Expert WitnessThis case involves a defendant native corporation located in Montana, that was accused of violating the False Claims Act by misrepresenting their eligibility for a government business development program in order to qualify for millions of dollars in federal government contracts. In order to qualify for set-aside and no-bid government contract work under the relevant program, the defendant certified that its subsidiaries qualify as small businesses. However, it was alleged that the defendant runs itself as one large business, such that its subsidiaries exist only on paper, share employees, and have only “placeholder” managers who work solely to advance the interests of the defendant parent company.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have experience helping subsidiaries of native corporations or other entity owned applicants qualify for government programs?

Expert Witness Response E-111067

I am qualified to address regulations regarding 8(a) status qualifications, particularly for Native Corporations. I regularly form 8(a) companies. I am the senior vice president of my ANC holding company and my responsibilities include supervising federal practices, which includes overseeing seven subsidiaries. Five subsidiaries have 8(a) status and two put in their applications and were approved last year. I have just finished approving a joint venture and mentor/protege entity this month with a net value of $2 billion and 60,000 employees. I formed another 8(a) joint venture with another non-subsidiary company six months ago. In addition, I was the senior policy advisor for Native American affairs for the US Department of Commerce from 2009 to 2011, where I addressed 8(a) status issues. I continue to advise companies regarding applications at my local SBD center. Companies are annually asked by their regional offices to recertify for 8(a) status. There are codes that dictate what qualfies as a small business. If companies exceed their annual revenue per year or employee headcounts three years in a row, they do not qualify as small businesses. However, ANCs can sidestep this regulation by creating more companies in different industries.

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