Construction boss gets eight years for $335m fraud

Patrick Michael Dingle, 51, twisted his business to win 199 contracts reserved for minority-owned, veteran-owned and disabled veteran-owned businesses (©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier)

The operations manager of a Kansas City contractor was sentenced to eight years in prison without the possibility of parole for his part in a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal construction work worth $335 million.

Patrick Michael Dingle, 51, has been sued for misrepresenting his company to win 199 contracts earmarked for minority-owned businesses, veterans and disabled veterans.

In a separate case, he was also found guilty of filing tax returns that defrauded the government of more than $615,000.

The company was founded in 2009 by Stephon Ziegler, a disabled African-American veteran, and its primary business was securing federal construction contracts earmarked for award to small businesses owned and controlled by disabled veterans or certified minorities. .

However, Dingle and his co-conspirators actually controlled and operated Zieson and received most of his profits.

Ziegler signed checks and offers for government jobs, but was not involved in the management and control of day-to-day operations or long-term decision-making.

“This defendant pocketed millions of dollars in profits that should have gone to businesses run by disabled veterans and minority owners,” said U.S. attorney Teresa Moore.

“He not only stole contracts from these companies, he cheated on his taxes and thereby robbed law-abiding citizens by not paying his fair share. Now he will go to jail and he will pay back every dollar earned through fraud and deception.

The court also ordered Dingle to forfeit more than $4.6 million, which was his profit from the scheme, and pay $615,847 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

On September 13 last year, Dingle pleaded guilty to the charges in the two federal cases and admitted that he conspired with Matthew C McPherson, 46, to fraudulently obtain contracts set aside by the federal government for the award to small businesses owned and controlled by veterans, service-disabled veterans and certified minorities.

McPherson was sentenced in January to two years and four months in federal prison without parole and Ziegler was sentenced in May to 12 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to making a false statement to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

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