By Lydia Wheeler - 02/02/16 02:19 PM EST
A Colorado-based construction management and general contracting company has agreed to pay nearly $1.8 million in civil fines and penalties for illegally taking over government contracts that were meant for small, disadvantaged businesses.
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that MCC Construction Company pled guilty in federal district court to one count of knowingly and willfully conspiring to commit major fraud on the U.S. and agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and forfeit $1.3 million in a peal deal.
The agency said MCC violated the Small Business Administration development program, which is designed to award contracts to businesses that are owned by “one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.”
“An uneven marketplace is created when businesses engage in illegal backroom deals to fraudulently obtain government contracts, placing competitors at an unfair disadvantage,” Paul Abbate, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said in a news release. “In this case, the FBI and our partners moved to protect the American taxpayer and ensure the integrity of the process.”
The court still needs to approve the plea deal at a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 15.