In Kansas City, Missouri, Warren Parker, owner of Silver Star Construction created a false war hero history in order to gain access to potential government contracts worth millions. When Parker’s business started failing, he set his sights on a government program designed to help companies owned by disabled veterans. The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program gives veterans’ companies contacts totaling $7.5 million in potential contracts. This was enough to tempt Parker into creating an elaborate story in which he was Vietnam War Veteran with three silver stars, three purple hearts, four bronze stars, and more than twelve other heroic commendations. Unfortunately for Parker, a background check revealed that he had served only six short months in the National Guard which never left Missouri and his only accomplishment there was an Expert Rifle badge. This wasn’t exactly the valiant hero he had made himself out to be.
In 2009, the Government Accountability Office discovered fraud in their veteran’s program. They didn’t say how this was brought to their attention, but because of this, they performed background checks on those in the program and found Parker’s many service discrepancies. This caused them to investigate Silver Star Construction. After their investigation, they eventually took him to a court which found him guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, major program fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making a false statement. He now faces a $6.8 million judgment and up to 30 years in a federal prison. His wife and son who also work with his company are also facing charges.
This kind of program fraud is on the rise due to the sluggish economy, and government agencies are having to take closer looks at the companies and individuals applying for funding and other types of assistance. Luckily, in this case, they decided to perform background checks on their program participants. When large agencies and corporations decide to award employment opportunities or contracts like these, it’s a good idea to make sure they are awarding their bid to companies and individuals with verified credentials. By using backgroundchecks.com, they can carry out employment verification, reference verification and license verification searches to be sure the company has the experience they claim on their application. Additionally, in order to avoid those with a history of criminal behavior like fraud, they can access national databases like US OneSEARCH.
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