On December 12, the United States Department of Justice announced that a former U.S. government contractor was indicted in the District of South Carolina on December 12 for his alleged role in selling falsified resumes and counterfeit U.S. government training certificates to individuals who were seeking employment on U.S. government contracts in Afghanistan between 2012 and 2015. The defendant, Antonio Jones, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud government contractors and the United States, nine counts of wire fraud, and three counts of false statements.
The indictment alleged
that Jones created an entity known as Wolverine Inc., through which he offered job placement services to clients seeking employment with U.S. government contractors in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Jones allegedly falsified his clients’ resumes and manufactured counterfeit U.S. government training certificates for his clients to make them appear more qualified than they actually were. Jones and his clients then used the falsified documents in job applications that were submitted to U.S. government contractors, the indictment alleges. At least two U.S. government contractors, one of which was based in the District of South Carolina, working on a multibillion-dollar Defense Department contract hired personnel allegedly based on false documents that Jones created and supplied or caused to be supplied to them.
Note: This case should prompt compliance officers in companies that do substantial amounts of government contracting to review their procedures for validating documentation that third-party applicants for contracting assignments submit. Neither of the companies that allegedly hired people who submitted false documentation are alleged to have had any knowledge of the falsity or complicity in the alleged offenses at the time of hiring. Nonetheless, government contractors need to recognize that the cost to a contractor of establishing or maintaining robust document-validation procedures is preferable to the cost of undermining government agencies’ confidence in that contractors and its hiring processes.