One of US military’s largest private landlords pleads guilty to fraud
The Justice Department (DOJ) announced on Thursday that one of the U.S. military’s largest private landlords pleaded guilty to defrauding the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) entered the guilty plea on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., after it submitted false information to the U.S. military in order to get performance bonuses, the department said.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the company to pay $33.6 million in criminal fines and more than $31.8 million in restitution to the military and serve three years of probation. The company will also work with an independent compliance monitor for three years, the release added.
“Instead of promptly repairing housing for U.S. servicemembers as required, BBC lied about the repairs to pocket millions of dollars in performance bonuses,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in the statement.
Monaco attributed the fraud to “broken corporate culture, which valued profit over the welfare of servicemembers.”
“Today’s global resolution sends a clear message to companies that if they do not maintain adequate compliance programs, voluntarily self-disclose misconduct, and fully cooperate with the government, they will pay a price that outweighs the profits they once reaped,” she added.
“In defrauding our country’s military services, BBC took advantage of their unique position as a military housing provider and put greed and personal profit above our servicemembers,” FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate also said in the statement.
The company operated private military housing communities at 21 Air Force, 16 Army and 18 Navy bases across the country, according to the DOJ statement.
Two BBC managers, Stacy Cabrera and Rick Cunefare, had already pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to major fraud, respectively.
The Hill has reached out to Balfour Beatty Communities for comment.