Staffing Firm Pleads Guilty to False Statements

By Staff Report

Jul. 20, 2009

Patriot Services Inc. and owner-president Stephanie Blackmon have each agreed to plead guilty to a one-count charge filed Friday, July 17, in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, of making a false statement to the Small Business Administration.

Patriot supplies temporary staffing services to various agencies and departments of the federal government throughout the United States. Under separate plea agreements, which are subject to court approval, Monroe, Georgia-based Patriot and Blackmon have agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation.

Blackmon admitted to providing false information to the SBA that Patriot could qualify for certification under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act. According to court documents, Blackmon purchased and became the president of Patriot in November 2003.

Although Blackmon was the actual owner-president of Patriot, she was primarily a figurehead whose status as an African-American was used to obtain 8(a) certification for Patriot, thereby enabling Patriot, and her former employer, to obtain government 8(a) set-aside contracts.

Specifically, Blackmon concealed the involvement of her former employer, who was not an economically disadvantaged person, in the management and operations of Patriot because revealing his involvement would have compromised Patriot’s chances of receiving 8(a) certification. By securing 8(a) certification, Patriot qualified for government contracts specifically set aside for 8(a) companies.

Blackmon faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 for the false-statement charge; Patriot faces a maximum fine of $5,000.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

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