The owner of an Albuquerque-area construction company and his son-in-law have pleaded guilty to charges that they defrauded a federal program designed for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
Max R. Tafoya, 63, the owner M.R. Tafoya Construction Inc., and Tyler Cole, 41, were charged last year in an indictment alleging that the two men obtained almost $11 million in federal contracts by falsely claiming that Tafoya’s company was qualified to participate in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough.
The guilty pleas were entered under plea agreements that require a 57 month prison sentence for Tafoya and a 37 month prison sentence for Cole. A federal judge will determine whether Tafoya and Cole will be required to pay restitution and fines or forfeit assets derived from their criminal activity.
In his plea agreement, Tafoya admitted that between 2009 and 2010, Tafoya Construction was awarded five contracts valued in total at $10,984,189 that required the company to hold SDVOSB status.
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