Military contractor charged with fraud on Africa contracts

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. military contractor has been indicted in California for allegedly faking quality control on construction projects in Africa that were so badly done some buildings collapsed, including an aircraft hangar, authorities said Tuesday.

Micheline Pollock was named in a 98-count indictment by a federal grand jury in San Diego, the U.S. attorney’s office for Southern California said in a statement.

Pollock was chief executive officer of Dover Vantage, which between 2011 and 2018 won contracts from the Army Corps of Engineers and Navy Facilities Engineering Command for military and humanitarian projects in Africa. They included a maternity ward and a school for the deaf in Togo.

Pollock and others in the company allegedly submitted fraudulent quality-control plans that included résumés of fictitious employees; certified quality control work that was never performed; faked concrete strength test results; and made claims for construction that was never performed or didn’t meet requirements.

“Many of the structures constructed by Dover Vantage were so poorly constructed that they collapsed, including the aircraft hangar in Niger and a training facility in Senegal,” the U.S. attorney’s office statement said. “Most of the other structures constructed by Dover Vantage are now unusable.”

The military has had to reissue contracts, repair damaged buildings and reduce operating capacity, the statement said.

Pollock was arrested on Sep. 22 in Tbilisi, Georgia and remains in custody in that country while awaiting extradition, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

The case is the first involving the Africa Strike Force, an anti-corruption initiative based in Southern California, the U.S. attorney’s office statement said.

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Three charged over ‘million dollar contractor fraud scheme’

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Three men have been arrested and charged over a large scale fraud scheme which left “dozens” of New York homeowners and businesses out of pocket. Robert Decker, Scott Driscoll, and Robert Langlais are facing 17 felony charges, including fraud and grand larceny, after allegedly obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars for work that was never performed or was poorly done.

Decker and Driscoll operated SJR Enterprises, LLC (SJR) as a home improvement contracting company between May 2018 and October 2019.

After receiving over $25,000, the men allegedly left one Albany resident without plumbing, electricity, and heat through the entire winter of 2019.

“Many of these victims invested their life savings so that they could improve their homes for themselves and their families, but instead of building newer and safer homes, all that these three defendants built was a house of lies.

We won’t allow anyone to take advantage of and steal from innocent New Yorkers trying to build better lives for themselves.”

Attorney General Letitia James

One homeowner took out a U.S. Housing and Urban Development Loan (203k) to fund almost $90,000 worth of renovations. The indictment claims Decker and Driscoll fraudulently obtained and diverted nearly $25,000 of the homeowner’s loan funds for materials, and then spent the remainder on personal expenses.

Under the terms of the loan, the homeowner hired Langlais to inspect and review Driscoll and Decker’s work before releasing funds from the loan.

Langlais is said to have fraudulently signed off on work that had either not been completed or poorly done. Over $5,000 was claimed for “cleanup costs” despite debris being strewn across the yard.

Robert and Janet Beaudoin in Cohoes were victims of all three alleged scammers. They say they were effectively swindled into trusting Decker and Driscoll with an extensive

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18th Judicial District Attorney Warns Of Contractor Fraud

a person standing in front of a house: The 18th Judicial District DA's Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it's received an "extremely high number of consumer complaints" about contractor fraud.

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The 18th Judicial District DA’s Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it’s received an “extremely high number of consumer complaints” about contractor fraud.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CO — The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has released an advisory after a recent surge in contractor fraud. The office’s Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it’s received an “extremely high” number of consumer complaints over the past six months about home improvement projects and hired contractors.

“While most contractors are reputable and honest, some are not,” the advisory read.

“A few complaints have originated from local organizations and businesses, but the majority have come from homeowners in areas of home repairs, renovations, and new construction.”

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Other Colorado regions have also seen a spike in fraud, officials said.

“While some problems cannot be anticipated, we believe that homeowners may have avoided financial losses and project delays if they had researched the business or contractor and taken some precautions,” the advisory read.

“Many problems could have been avoided if an attorney was involved during certain stages.”

Read the full advisory:

text: SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.

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SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.

text: SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.

© Provided by Patch
SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.

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27 Unlicensed Contractors Accused Of Fraud: Hillsborough Sheriff

SUN CITY CENTER, FL — Twenty-seven unlicensed contractors were arrested in Sun City Center by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office during a 10-day sting, authorities said. The suspects include a high-risk sexual offender among those arrested in a crackdown on home remodel scams.

Each suspect faces charges of unlawful acts while in the capacity of a contractor.

Deputies said the undercover operation was conducted from Sept. 21 through Oct. 2 in an area where many elderly residents often fall victim to cons and scams, including construction fraud.

A high-risk sexual offender and unlicensed contractor, Keith Hall, 49, was among the 27 men arrested, investigators said.

Hall was currently on GPS-monitored felony probation after being convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim 12 to 15 years of age, lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim less than 16 years of age and promoting sexual performance of a child when he offered to remodel a walk-in shower for $1,600, authorities said.

According to law enforcement officials, the unlicensed contractors offered to replace or remodel bathrooms, doors, windows and said they could pour sidewalks around the property.

Quotes the suspects gave the undercover deputies who posed as homeowners ranged anywhere from $320 to $13,000, said police.

“When you hire a contractor, you expect professionalism and complete accountability,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “By hiring someone who does not have the proper credentials, you don’t know who you’re allowing into your home or the damage they could potentially cause to your property. During the ongoing pandemic, many people are in the house more often and looking for ways to fix up their homes. We urge homeowners to do their research before committing to an expensive service that requires professional training and experience.”

Anyone who believes they are a victim of contractor fraud is

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Contractors charged in $1 million fraud scheme

ALBANY – A contractor with a three-decade history of defrauding dozens of homeowners has been charged, along with his business partner and a housing consultant, for allegedly taking part in $1 million scheme against homeowners across the state.

The state Attorney General’s office said a joint investigation with the State Police resulted in a grand jury handing up a 17-count indictment against Robert Decker, 66, Scott Driscoll, 44 and Robert Langlais, 67, for their alleged roles in the fraud.

Attorney General Letitia James said many of the homeowners involved had invested their life savings in upgrading their homes.

“We won’t allow anyone to take advantage of and steal from innocent New Yorkers trying to build better lives for themselves,” she said in a statement.

The probe was prompted by dozens of complaints to the state Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau about SJR Enterprises, a Waterford-based home improvement contracting company run by Decker and Driscoll, dating back to at least May 2018.

A review of the SJR Enterprises’ Better Business Bureau page and other online reviews show the complaints go even further back, with customers repeatedly complaining about work not being done or not being up to code. Many of the complaints state that they never heard from anyone at SJR Enterprises after writing a large deposit check or being talked in to paying the full amount to get the project started.

According to the indictment, Decker, 66, also known as Bob Dale, and Driscoll, defrauded home and business owners by taking money for improvement projects and using it for themselves, including nearly $400,000 in cash. They also used roughly $150,000 to pay off their debts and ordered over $50,000 in items through iTunes, Amazon and at various restaurants.

The indictment lays out several cases where homeowners spent months

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