Prime contractor employee at U.S. military bases sentenced to prison for $1.4M fraud and taking kickbacks
NEWARK, NJ – A Pennsylvania man employed as a regional manager for a contractor involved with construction projects at Picatinny Arsenal (PICA) and at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst (Ft. Dix) was sentenced Thursday to 28 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that caused losses of $1.4 million, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
James Conway, 48, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of accepting unlawful kickbacks, Carpenito said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from September 2009 to August 2015, Conway secretly owned a company called Walsh Construction Services, LLC (Walsh Construction), which purported to provide construction services. Using his position as regional manager for a construction contractor, Conway steered subcontracts to Walsh Construction for jobs at PICA and Ft. Dix. To conceal his ownership of Walsh Construction, Conway signed the subcontracts as Keith Walsh, the purported owner or vice president of Walsh Construction. There was, in fact, no person by that name who owned or was the vice president of Walsh Construction.
Conway used Walsh Construction to obtain payments from the construction contractor by submitting invoices and bills on behalf of Walsh Construction for work purportedly performed at PICA and Ft. Dix. Many of the invoices and bills included charges for work that Walsh Construction only partially did, or for work that was not performed at all by Walsh Construction, causing losses of $1.4 million.
Conway also accepted kickbacks totaling $180,345, from four subcontractors who served as subcontractors to the contractor on various construction projects at PICA and Ft. Dix knowing that the subcontractors expected, in return, to obtain favorable treatment from Conway.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Conway to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1.4 million in restitution.