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Main Contractor Paid David Wikel $85K In Kickbacks On Federal Building Makeover

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A Florida contractor has accepted a plea deal with the federal government after admitting to getting money back in connection with government subcontract work on the U.S. District Court buildings on St. Thomas.

David Wikel, president of West Palm Beach-based Therma-Seal Roof Systems, LLC, pleaded guilty Tuesday to providing kickbacks in connection with the $1.7 million dollar subcontract to retrofit the roof of the Ron de Lugo Federal Building in St. Thomas, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

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

This 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, the Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nathan Brooks and Jennifer Blecher.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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