Bayonne contractor pleads guilty in fraud scheme
Aug 08, 2013 | 2191 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BAYONNE -- Leo Viguie, 38, of Bayonne, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to a charge of theft of government funds totaling $40,000 for allegedly bid-rigging in order to fraudulently obtain U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funds via the City of Bayonne, said., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman in a press release.

Viguie was the owner of L.V. Renovations LLC, a general contracting company in Bayonne. The city of Bayonne Department of Community Development (CBDCD) was a government agency that received funds from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development under a federal program that provided grants of up to $20,000 to low income families to rehabilitate their homes and to repair conditions that were considered to affect their health and safety, and their homes’ accessibility, energy efficiency or code compliance.

In September 2011, Viguie, as the owner of L.V. Renovations, LLC, allegedly caused another contractor to provide Viguie with a bid that was higher than his own for the purpose of obtaining HUD grant funds from the City of Bayonne. Viguie then submitted the other contractor’s bid along with his own to the CBDCD. As a result of Viguie alleged colluding with the other contractor and submitting the two bids, Viguie wrongfully obtained $20,000 in HUD grant funds from the CBDCD on Sept. 29, 2011, according to Fishman.

In December 2011, Viguie allegedly supplied another contractor with a bid on behalf of L.V. Renovations that was higher than the other contractor’s bid for the purpose of obtaining HUD grant funds from the City of Bayonne, Fishman said. The other contractor then submitted the two bids to the CBDCD. As a result of Viguie allegedly colluding with the other contractor who then submitted the two bids, the other contractor wrongfully obtained $20,000 in HUD grant funds from the CBDCD on Dec. 28, 2011.

The theft of government funds charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Dec. 4, 2013. – By Al Sullivan

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