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Accountant found guilty of aiding in $260M construction-contract scheme

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 27, 2020//

Accountant found guilty of aiding in $260M construction-contract scheme

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 27, 2020//

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A jury found a Menomonee Falls accountant guilty of working with a Milwaukee construction executive to illegally secure more than $260 million in construction contracts meant for minority-owned businesses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Mark Spindler’s conviction on Monday. Prosecutors said Spindler provided accounting services to Brian Ganos and the construction companies he controlled from the late 1990s to 2017.

In June, Ganos pleaded guilty to using his businesses, Sonag Construction, Sonag Ready Mix and Nuvo Construction Company, as fronts to obtain set-aside contracts for minority-owned businesses. Prosecutors said he relied on fake owners  who met the qualifications to win the contracts. In reality, though, Ganos controlled the companies. The scheme continued from 2004 to mid-2016 and resulted in more than $260 million in federal, state and local contracts.

At Spindler’s four-day trial, prosecutors said Spindler gave Ganos advice to help conceal the profits the front companies had made. Among other things, he talked about setting up a “services” line in the companies’ financial records to justify the millions of dollars Ganos was taking from the company. The jury also saw letters containing fake information that Spindler had written to certifying agencies to ensure the front companies could keep their certifications.

Prosecutors said Spindler also lied to the FBI and Department of Veterans Administration in 2012 about Ganos’ involvement with the companies, allowing the scheme to continue for four more years.

Spindler could spend 20 years in prison and have to pay a $250,000 fine for his conviction. He’s scheduled for sentencing on May 6.

Ganos was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for the scheme in December. Four other people and one corporation also pleaded guilty to a felony charge in connection with the conspiracy.


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