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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Grand Jury investigating AbilityOne/SourceAmerica - program awards federal contracts to employ people with disabilities

Breaking News -- A federal grand jury will begin probing “one of the most massive federal fraud cases in decades,” CNN reports, following up on their own reporting on AbilityOne. This program finds work for the severely disabled for federal agencies, and its contracts are managed by SourceAmerica. When federal contracts began going to SourceAmerica board members, the contractors who got stiffed began complaining about bid-rigging and corruption. The biggest losers, CNN reports, are the severely disabled who didn’t get the jobs created especially for them.

Highlights of the investigation:

  • A federal grand jury is examining the nation’s premier program that provides work for people who are severely disabled, after a series of CNN investigative reports detailing allegations of corruption and cronyism in what sources say could be the biggest fraud case ever in a U.S. government agency.
  • CNN has learned government investigators have issued grand jury subpoenas as they investigate the huge taxpayer-funded program, known as AbilityOne, and specifically its managing agency, SourceAmerica.
  • Along with bid rigging and corruption, grand jury investigators are looking into allegations the program is operating numerous contracts illegally, and not hiring enough disabled people to fill contracts as required by law, as CNN detailed in earlier reports. …
  • [N]umerous sources have told CNN that SourceAmerica awards contracts unfairly, giving lucrative deals to companies with inside connections. Some SourceAmerica board members have also worked at companies that are awarded big contracts.
  • One such example is outlined in a lawsuit alleging bid-rigging, one of several suits filed against AbilityOne and SourceAmerica in recent years.

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