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Contractor charged for defrauding VA in snow-removal business

The former Executive Director of the Crestview Chamber of Commerce, Valarie Lott, was sentenced...
The former Executive Director of the Crestview Chamber of Commerce, Valarie Lott, was sentenced to three years in state prison for organized fraud on Tuesday. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 11:31 AM AKST
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An Anchorage man was charged for conspiracy for lying to the Department of Veterans Affairs about who was doing the work for contract money he received for his qualified service-disabled, veteran-owned business.

According to the charges, 57-year-old Dale Johnson owned a business that qualified for "set-aside" contracts that are issued to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses by the VA. In 2014, his business received a contract worth $740,554.00 for snow removal.

Johnson allegedly hired a different company to actually do the snow removal work that he had been contracted for, while Johnson received a 5-10% kickback from the VA, totalling over $54,000.

A former employee of the VA is also charged in the fraud. Richard Vaughan was a contract officer representative for the department, who was responsible for issuing "set-aside" contracts to Johnson. Donald Garner, who set up the business that allegedly did the snow removal work, was also charged.

The charges carried up to a five-year imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, but the parties have reached a plea agreement in the case which will require a change of plea and the approval of a judge.

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