Azteca Supply Co. indicted for $9.5 million contract fraudFebruary 5th, 2010 - 3:43 am ICT by BNO News
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (BNO NEWS) – The owner of Azteca Supply Co., her husband and the company itself were indicted on Thursday for allegedly collecting more than 9.5 million in fraudulent payments from three projects, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Illinois.
Aurora Venegas is the president and sole owner of Azteca Supply Co., a company that received two projects from O’Hare International Airport of Chicago for runway and restroom projects from which she received the sum of $9,638,000.
Venegas also acquired a contract on a landscaping project from New Metra commuter Rail Station in the village of Orlando Park. She received $57,168 for a total of $9,695,168 among the three projects.
Venegas alongside her husband Thomas Masen plotted a sham where they pretended to have a full inventory when in reality the items where from other companies. When inspections came it appeared that Azteca Supply Co. had a full inventory and received the projects. Meanwhile Venegas, under Mr. Madsen’s directions, sold and shipped supplies that her customers needed but what they didn’t know is that they were buying items from other companies.
“The use of sham minority contractors cheats not only the governments that provide opportunities to bid on public contracts, but it also deprives legitimate minority and women-owned businesses from competing to obtain work on such projects,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Mrs. Venegas and the company were charged with five counts of mail fraud while her husband was charged with two counts of mail fraud and one of making false statements to federal agents.
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