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Florida Man Charged With Taking Kickbacks From $1.7 Million Federal Contract

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A Florida man was charged today with fraud in connection with a kickback scheme involving federal government contracts.

David Wikel, 65, of West Palm Beach, was charged with providing kickbacks in connection with the $1.7 million dollar federal government subcontract to retrofit the roof of the Ron de Lugo Federal Building in St. Thomas, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Wikel is the president of Therma-Seal Roof Systems, LLC based in Florida.

According to the Information filed in the case, in May through October 2014 Wikel paid over $200,000 in kickbacks to a senior project manager for the prime contractor on the Ron de Lugo Project, and that person ultimately funneled $85,000 back to Wikel.

The Informtion also alleges that Wikel falsely inflated the costs billed under the subcontract in order to cover the aforementioned kickbacks.

The case is being investigated by the General Services Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of the Inspector General, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Brooks.

Shappert said that an information is merely a formal charging document, and it is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty,” she said.

https://justice.gov/usao-vi/pr/florida-man-charged-procurement-fraud-related-federal-courthouse-st-thomas

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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