|NESS National Employee Screening Services|
January 10, 2011 -
The owner of a
The company, Brunt
Bros. Transfer, Inc., allegedly fraudulently received more than $3
million since 2000 after being hired to clean and videotape city sewers
its owner, Jesse Brunt; and Anthony Duffy, who at first worked for one
company and then later co-owned a different company, both now defunct,
that allegedly actually did the work that Brunt Brothers was supposed to
perform, were each indicted on three counts of mail fraud in an
indictment returned by a federal grand jury. The indictment also seeks
forfeiture of $3 million.
The indictment was
announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the
Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge
of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Joseph
Ferguson, Inspector General for the City of Chicago, who has been a
valuable partner with the FBI in the investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald said.
According to the
indictment, beginning in 1999, Brunt and Brunt Brothers fraudulently
sought, obtained, and maintained certification by the City of
alleges that in August 2000 Brunt falsely certified in documents filed
with the city that Company A would perform a certain value of work for
Brunt Brothers under the Southern District Contract, but substantially
under-represented the extent of work that he expected Company A would
In a November 2000
letter to the city, Brunt falsely represented that Brunt Brothers would
subcontract no more than 40 percent of the work, barring an emergency,
to Company A, a non-minority sewer cleaning company where Duffy was a
manager and employee from 2000 to 2003. Brunt further falsely
represented that his company would obtain the equipment necessary to
complete the project, the charges allege.
It was part of the
scheme, however, that Brunt Brothers would and did operate merely as a
"pass-through" for the contract, did not perform a commercially useful
function, and did not actually perform, manage or supervise the work, as
Brunt and Duffy knew and orchestrated, according to the indictment.
Between 2000 and 2003, Company A performed substantially all of the work
that Brunt Brothers had contracted to perform, it adds.
In 2003, Duffy and
others formed Company B to acquire the sewer cleaning assets of Company
A and, among other purposes, to have Company B provide the services
purportedly performed by Brunt Brothers that had previously been
performed by Company A. Between 2003 and 2005, Brunt and Duffy allegedly
arranged for and caused Company B to perform substantially all of the
services required of Brunt Brothers under the Southern District
As part of the
scheme, Duffy allegedly caused Company B to prepare Brunt Brothers
invoices for work Duffy and Brunt knew was actually performed by Company
B. Further, Brunt and Duffy fraudulently inflated Brunt Brothers
invoices to the city approximately 15 percent in excess of the amount
that Company B invoiced to Brunt Brothers, the indictment alleges.
In documents filed
with the city in 2003, Brunt allegedly falsely represented that Company
C would participate in the contract as both an MBE and a women-owned
business enterprise (WBE.) Brunt also omitted and failed to disclose the
identity and participation of Company B as a subcontractor on economic
disclosure statements signed in 2003 and 2005 and filed with the city,
the charges add.
Each count of
mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine. The company faces a maximum penalty of five years'
probation and a $500,000 fine on each count.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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