Creative Commons / Ancheta Wis
El Paso's Fort Bliss, pictured above, is one of the military facilities at which Balfour Beatty Communities LLC provides privatized base housing.
One of the largest providers of privatized military housing to the U.S. Armed Forces — including at El Paso's Fort Bliss — will pay more than $65 million in fines and restitution to resolve a federal fraud case, according to Justice Department officials.
Military contractor Balfour Beatty Communities LLC pleaded guilty to one count of major fraud against the United States, according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice
. The federal government accused the Malvern, Pennsylvania-based firm of lying about whether it had promptly conducted repairs requested by service members so that it could "pocket millions of dollars in performance bonuses.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan accepted BBC's plea and sentenced the company to pay $33.6 million in criminal fines and $31.8 million in restitution to the U.S. military. The business also will serve three years' probation and be overseen by an independent monitor for three years.
As a result of BBC's alleged scheme, "there were lengthy and unnecessary delays in the resolution of maintenance issues to the detriment of service members and their families," the Justice Department's release states. "In addition, the military service branches were provided an inaccurate assessment of the state of BBC’s military housing communities."
“In defrauding our country's military services, BBC took advantage of their unique position as a military housing provider and put greed and personal profit above our servicemembers,” FBI Deputy Director Paul M. Abbate said in the DOJ release.
According to court documents, BBC operated privatized military housing communities at 21 Air Force, 18 Navy and 16 Army bases where tens of thousands of service members and their families lived.
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