MONMOUTH COUNTY – In order to apply for $16.5 million in government contracts, a local company falsified documents stating that a service-disabled veteran was its owner.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said that VE Source LLC, a Shrewsbury-based company, and a related company, Vertical Source Inc., claimed that they were eligible for lucrative contracts. These contracts are available only to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. These businesses must be majority owned and controlled by a service-disabled vet on a daily basis.
VE Source had won contracts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a component of the U.S. Department of Defense. They were to deliver aprons and apron strings to the USDA.
According to the federal government, VE Source’s owners falsely certified that the company was controlled by Sherman Barton, a service-disabled veteran, when the company was in fact controlled by Christopher Neary, who is not a service-disabled veteran. In so doing, they allegedly undercut the program designed to benefit soldiers who were injured while defending the nation.
As a result, the Justice Department filed suit against the company and its owners.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito thanked special agents of the General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General, acting under the direction of Inspector General Carol F. Ochoa; The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong; and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, acting under the direction of Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Dermot F. O’Reilly, with the investigation leading to the filing of this civil fraud complaint.
This is not a criminal investigation, but rather a lawsuit brought on by the government against these individuals and the companies.