Contractor to Pay $188,879.59 to Settle Claims That Owner Falsified DBE Personal Net Worth Statement

November 2, 2021
By Danielle Dietrich
Posted in Business Services, Women and Diverse-Owned Businesses

On October 29, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas announced a $188,879.59 settlement with Muniz Concrete and Contracting, Inc. to resolve False Claims Act allegations arising out of false information being provided in accordance with the company’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) certification.  The DBE program is designed to encourage and increase the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in federally funded projects.   

The U.S. Attorney alleged company owner, Jose Muniz, was no longer “economically disadvantaged” beginning in 2017 when his personal net worth exceeded the threshold to qualify as a DBE.  Muniz is alleged to have made several false certifications concerning his personal net worth after 2017 to continue receiving DBE contracts. 

You can read more details in the Department of Justice press release here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/austin-construction-company-and-owner-settle-false-claims-act-allegations.

If you are a DBE owner who would like to discuss concerns about your personal net worth statement, please contact Danielle Dietrich at 412-227-0284 or ddietrich@smgglaw.com.