Monday, October 26, 2020

Owner of physical security school pleads guilty to defrauding program dedicated to rehabilitating disabled military veterans


The owner of a physical security school pleaded guilty today to defrauding a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program dedicated to rehabilitating military veterans with disabilities.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Kim Lampkins of the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG), Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement.

Francis Engles, 63, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.  The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge John D. Bates of the District of Columbia.  Sentencing has been scheduled for April 2, 2020.

According to admissions made in connection with Engles’s guilty plea, Engles was the owner and operator of Engles Security Training School (Engles Security).  In August 2015, Engles Security became an approved vendor of the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) program, which provides disabled U.S. military veterans with services.  Thereafter, Engles Security obtained over 80 percent of its total revenue from the VA in exchange for purporting to provide certain courses to disabled military veterans.

- Advertisement -

To further the scheme, Engles falsely represented to the VA that he was providing veterans with months-long courses for 40 hours per week and over 600 total hours.  In fact, Engles Security offered veterans far less than what Engles represented to the VA.  In some instances, he offered only a few hours of class per day for several weeks.  Some veterans did not attend more than one day of class.

Engles nevertheless sent to the VA “Certificates of Training” stating that veterans had completed courses that they had not completed or, in some instances, had not taken at all.  Similarly, Engles submitted letters to the VA falsely stating that the veterans were employed by Engles’s private security business.  Engles also instructed veterans to sign attendance sheets for classes that they did not in fact attend.  In total, Engles obtained $337,960 from the VA for the purported education of veterans.

Engles also attempted to obstruct the investigation into his fraud.  During an interview with federal agents, Engles lied about veteran students’ attendance at the school, among other things.  Later, when Engles Security was served with a grand jury subpoena, Engles prevented his employee from producing responsive documents that she had gathered.  Some of these documents were later discovered in the government’s search of Engles Security’s office.

In February 2019, four other individuals were sentenced in related cases following their guilty pleas.  James King, a former VA employee, was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison for committing bribery, defrauding the VA, and obstructing justice.  Albert Poawui, the owner of Atius Technology Institute, was sentenced to serve 84 months in prison for committing bribery.  Sombo Kanneh, Poawui’s employee, was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bribery.  Michelle Stevens, the owner of Eelon Training School, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison for committing bribery.

- Advertisement -



Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World


Latest News

This Week

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

UAE suspends licences of 200 law firms over anti-money laundering compliance

Practicing licences of 200 law firms in the UAE have been suspended for a month for not following the prescribed procedures to combat money...

Former Malawi minister sentenced to six years in prison over passport corruption scandal

A court in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on Thursday sentenced a former home minister to six years in prison after he was found guilty in...

Trial of bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik begins in Paris

The trial of a Russian man alleged to have used ransomware in a 135 million euros ($157 million) bitcoin fraud will begin Monday. Alexander Vinnik, who...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks