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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Fraud

Whistleblower Lawyer in Atlanta

When the Government passes out contracts, it wants to include disadvantaged business enterprises, minority business enterprises, and women-owned businesses. But some businesses are cheating the Government and other contractors by pretending to be DBEs, MBEs or WBEs, even though they don’t qualify.

Are you fed up with businesses stealing government contracts by pretending to be DBEs, MBEs and WBEs? As a whistleblower, you can stop the cheating and get 15-30% of the money that the Government rakes back from the cheaters. These companies snap up not only their own portion of government contracts, but the portion earmarked for DBEs, MBEs or WBEs, making it even harder for other small businesses to get construction, highway, and other government contracts.

The Wallace Law Firm, LLC is prepared to help you fight back against fraudulent business certifications:

Attorney Lee Wallace of The Wallace Law Firm, LLC graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, first in her class from Vanderbilt University. You need a lawyer who understands False Claims Act fraud. She has been practicing for 25 years, and the focus of her practice is representing whistleblowers like you.

Contact The Wallace Law Firm, LLC today to discuss your case for FREE.

Examples of How Companies Cheat MBE, DBE & WBE Programs

*Pass-Through Contracts. Unscrupulous contractors set up straw companies that are nothing more than fronts for big businesses. The straw company technically wins the government contract, but the work — and nearly all the money — pass through to a mega-company already swimming in government contracts.

In May 2014, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York sued Moretrench American Corporation under the False Claims Act, saying that the company was engaging in pass-through fraud. The Government’s complaint says that that the company used a DBE as a front to get contracts for groundwater removal (called dewatering.)

According to the Government’s complaint, Moretrench hired Environmental Energy Associates (“EEA”) to operate a groundwater removal system (called a “dewatering system.”) But the Government says that EEA was a “shell company” that performed no “commercially useful function.” In fact, the complaint says, Moretrench simply switched some of its own employees who were already working on the project to the EEA payroll. An administrative assistant at Moretrench prepared a payroll form for all of the payroll paperwork for EEA.

If you know of a company siphoning off government contracts that have been set aside for disadvantaged, minority, or women-owned companies, talk to our Atlanta whistleblower lawyer to see if you can stop fraud stemming from pass-through contracts and receive a percentage of what the Government gets. Every year Attorney Lee Wallace is named one of Georgia’s Super Lawyers® and one of the Top Women Lawyers in the State. She has handled cases in more than 20 states.

Companies That Secure DBE, MBE OR WBE Contract Using Fraud

Sometimes a business will claim to be owned by an individual who is disadvantaged, a minority or a woman, when in reality someone else owns the company. Companies that engage in this kind of fraud take abusive advantage of people who really do qualify for the program.

In one case I know about, whenever the inspector came, the company actually switched the nameplate outside the secretary’s small, interior office with the plate that sat outside the boss’s big, corner office. The company packed up the secretary’s pictures and personal items and set them out in the big office. While the inspector was there, the secretary sat in the big, corner office. As soon as the inspector left, the secretary was shooed out of the big office, her nameplate came off the door, and her personal items were unceremoniously dumped into a box and set back on her real desk.

You do not have to put up with fraud. As a whistleblower, also known as a qui tam relator, you can DO SOMETHING NOW. Our team at The Wallace Law Firm, LLC can help you determine how you can file suit and stop the fraud. The Government rewards successful whistleblowers with part of what it collects.

Providing False Information in Order to Qualify for DBE, MBE, OR WBE

Although the 51% owner of a DBE, MBE or WBE must be disadvantaged, a minority or a woman, the business has to meet several other requirements as well. The programs are set up to benefit small businesses that are trying to break into getting government contracts. Once a business gets large enough, financially, it is deemed to be strong enough to stand on its own, and it moves out of the MBE, DBE, and WBE classification.

Some companies falsify assets sheets or statements about their business in order to gobble up the limited number of contracts available for smaller firms. This type of fraudulent activity is illegal, and those who are aware of the activity have a duty to report it. Our firm can help you.

Find out whether you can file suit under the False Claims Act. Get Lee on your side. The Government can get its money back, and you will be entitled to receive 15-30% of what the Government gets back.

Start with a FREE consult today by calling us at (404) 550-4615.


Lee’s peers have named her a Georgia SuperLawyer every year for two decades.