Two former Balfour employees plead guilty to fraud in the United States

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Two former employees of Balfour Beatty have pleaded guilty to “major fraud” against the United States, relating to falsified maintenance records of military housing, it has been learned.

The US Department of Justice announced this week that Rick Cunefare, 61, of Glendale, Ariz., And Stacy M Cabrera, 47, of Converse, Texas, have pleaded guilty earlier this year for their roles in a conspiracy to manipulate and falsify maintenance information reports. . Reports were filed showing that they had met maintenance targets, which then triggered performance bonuses paid to their business.

The fraud took place at Lackland, Travis, Tinker, and a number of other US Air Force bases between 2013 and 2016.

Reuters, which first broke news of the charges against the British entrepreneur’s U.S. affiliate, Balfour Beatty Communities, in 2019, reported this week that the couple had worked for the company. Balfour Beatty has since confirmed this.

Cunefare faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 (£ 176,619). Cabrera faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000, the Justice Department said.

The department’s Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L McQuaid said, “The defendants defrauded the US Air Force and put corporate profits ahead of the well-being of servicemen and their families. The department is committed to protecting our military families from deception and abuse, and to ensuring the integrity of Department of Defense programs.

The fraud investigations are still ongoing.

In his UK accounts for 2020, released earlier this year, Balfour Beatty said a £ 5million drop in operating profit for infrastructure investments was due to a provision made in connection with allegations of fraud on military housing in the United States. The amount would have reflected the value of incentive fees received for work that its own internal investigation could not verify.

After the charges first emerged in 2019, the entrepreneur appointed a law firm to investigate. A spokesperson said today he proactively contacted the Justice Department after concerns were raised. She added, “Balfour Beatty Communities is committed to doing business in a legal, decent and honest manner and is appalled that the actions of some people misrepresent the efforts of hundreds of dedicated employees. The company continues to work with the Department of Justice to resolve the matter. “



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