Asbestos abatement manager pleads guilty to fraud
David Muir, of Olney, Maryland pleaded guilty to conspiracy
to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA)
8(a) program, which is designed to assist socially and
economically disadvantaged small businesses.
According to the plea agreement, since August 1998, Muir
worked for, or was associated with, three Maryland companies
that performed asbestos and lead abatement and demolition
work on federal and private facilities.
Between 1998 and 2007, all three companies participated
in the SBA’s 8(a) program.
For one of the companies, Muir represented himself to
different contractors and subcontractors doing business
with the company as operations manager, project manager,
quality control manager and vice president.
In violation of SBA’s regulations, Muir and his co-conspirators,
who are all non-disadvantaged individuals, exerted significant
financial and operational control over the three Maryland
corporations in a variety of ways, including: personally
indemnifying the liabilities of one of the companies,
which enabled it to obtain higher bonding and 8(a) contracts
of higher value than the company otherwise would have
been qualified; for exercising significant control over
the contracts bid upon by all three companies; and exercising
control over the selection and payment of subcontractors
on behalf of two of the companies.
To continue participating in the program each year, the
companies' presidents were required to submit updates
to the SBA in which they certified that the companies
On June 27, 2005, Muir faxed to the SBA the 2004 financial
statements of one of the companies, as part of that company’s
annual update. These statements failed to disclose that
bonuses were paid to Muir and his co-conspirators, and
that their bonuses and other compensation far exceeded
the compensation paid to the disadvantaged individual.
In fact, between 2002 and 2004, Muir and his coconspirators
received approximately $900,000 more in bonuses and salaries
than the president of the company. These salaries and
bonuses were given without the SBA’s knowledge or approval.
Muir knew that he and the co-conspirators provided critical
bonding, financial and operational support to the three
companies, and during the course of the conspiracy, the
presidents of two of the companies submitted fraudulent
annual updates to the SBA in which they falsely certified
that their companies continued to meet the SBA regulations
related to eligibility, including those which prohibit
financial and operational control of the firm by a non-disadvantaged
Muir faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison,
followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District
Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for October