After hammering for justice, a scheming government contractor got hammered by justice.
Milton Cleve Collins, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of major fraud against the United States Thursday before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr.
Collins had a $1.5 million federal government contract to replace the roof and the air conditioning system at the Ed Jones Federal Courthouse and Post Office in Jackson, Tenn.
He sub-contracted the work to a “small Memphis-area business,” according to D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, but did not pay the business in full. Collins then lied about it in documents to federal officials. For Collins, the scheme was worth over $580,000.
But Collins caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the General Services Administration, from which he had won the original contract.
“The major fraud committed by the defendant in this case is a serious crime of dishonesty and deceit that strikes at the very heart of those national interests, and will not be tolerated,” Dunavant said in a Thursday statement.
Collins now faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5 million, three years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100. A sentencing hearing for him is set for March 2018.
“The FBI takes particular interest in cases where individuals, for their own personal benefit, use deceit and fraud to line their pockets,” said Michael T. Gavin, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI. “Fraud has a negative and long lasting impact on the community, and the honest and law abiding citizens who are fed up with the likes of those who, motivated merely by greed, violate the law, should be assured by this conviction that the FBI is committed to work closely with its law enforcement partners to vigorously pursue anyone who commits such crimes.”