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Contractor charged with obtaining $2M from stimulus funds by fraud

March 21, 2013
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Source: My San Antonio

On the heels of a report that the Veterans Affairs Department wasted $2.2 billion in taxpayer money last year, a Navy veteran appeared Wednesday in federal court in San Antonio on charges he lied about his company's qualifications to the VA to get $2 million in contracts for work at one of its hospitals.

Jonathan Patrick Saunders was indicted by a federal grand jury March 6 on six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Saunders, of Colorado, is president and co-owner of Saunders MEP Inc., which has been awarded government contracts around the country, including one for building construction projects at the VA Hospital in Kerrville, which is at the center of the indictment.

The indictment alleges that when he applied in March 2008 for the Kerrville contract, he claimed that his company qualified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, that certain people with engineering or architectural qualifications worked for the company and that the company had done work on a previous project. In reality, the indictment said, none of that was true, and Saunders faces the aggravated ID charges because he allegedly used certain people's names without permission.

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