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Texas man convicted of using dad's disabled vet status to gain federal contracts

By KEVIN KRAUSE | The Dallas Morning News (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 16, 2016

A Texas man has been convicted in federal court of using his father’s identity to qualify for lucrative federal government contracts under a set-aside program for disabled veterans.

Sean C. Page, 45, who never served in the military, used his father’s name and social security number to cash in on his veteran disability status, prosecutors said.

His father, a combat veteran, served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1981 and was deemed to be 100 percent disabled when he was honorably discharged, authorities said. The elder Page received two bronze stars during his service in Vietnam. And he did not know about his son’s scheme, investigators said.

Page was convicted Friday by a federal jury in Sherman. He faces up to 10 years in prison. He was charged last year with scamming the federal contracting program out of about $1 million from 2009 to 2013 using two companies he formed.

“For every one of these contracts that Mr. Page would have received…there are legitimate service disabled veterans who did not get that contract,” said Bryan Sewell, an agent with the Veterans Affairs’ inspector general’s office, in court records.

Contracting fraud under the disabled veteran program has been on the rise. The “pass-through” scheme is the most common in which a company owned by a disabled vet wins a government contract and passes it to another company to actually do the work, the assistant inspector general for Veterans Affairs told Congress in 2012.

Others include “rent-a-vet” schemes and cases in which non-veterans try to win contracts for disabled vets.

Page at the time “self-certified” his companies as veteran-owned, court records show. The rules have changed due to widespread fraud, and companies now must be certified by a government agency.

When reached at home prior to the trial, Page’s father, Dalton Page, said he knows his son committed the crime.

“We got all the proof that he did it,” he said. “Sean is my son but those programs are set aside for GIs such as myself. I am very disappointed in him getting those contracts like that. The contracts were put in my name. He had me backed in a corner.”

The senior Page said he hasn’t spoken to his son in about three years. He said he did two tours of duty in Vietnam and saw “all the body bags.” He said he suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

“I do not appreciate people using veteran’s benefits,” Dalton Page said. “It shows disrespect for me.”

Page’s initial indictment was dismissed in December after a judge ruled that he did not receive a “timely trial.”

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Texas obtained a second indictment against Page days later. The government also is seeking a forfeiture judgment against $2.7 million that Page allegedly earned from the scheme.

Page created 12G Resources Group in 2009 and Premier Building Maintenance in 2008 to provide general services such as cleaning and landscape work for veteran-owned facilities, the indictment said. He won five Veterans Affairs contracts after using his father’s information to certify his businesses. Page’s companies also got 10 Army and Air Force contracts.

Page continued to do federal contract work after his October 2014 arraignment in violation of a federal judge’s order, court records show. He earned $35,175 from a landscaping and snow removal job with the Veterans Medical Center of Salt Lake City while he was out on bond.

Twitter: @KevinRKrause

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