ST. LOUIS (AP) – The U.S. Attorney’s office on Thursday announced that two construction companies and their presidents would pay $440,000 to resolve an investigation into fraud involving a program intended to help businesses owned by women or members of racial or ethnic minority groups.
Federal officials claimed United Ironworkers and its president, Kim Rasnick, conspired with D&K Welding Services, and its president, Dorrie Wise-Harris, to misrepresent the ownership of D&K so that it would qualify as a “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.”
Both companies worked on highway and bridge projects in Illinois and other states in the Midwest.
Karl and Diana Jefferson, who also own a steel construction firm in Southern Illinois, sued under the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government.
They will receive $79,200 as part of the settlement. The Jefferson’s suit was still sealed from public view Thursday afternoon.