The following is from the U.S. Attorney's Office:
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The owner of a Missouri construction company has pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal program that set aside contracts for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Warren K. Parker, 70, Blue Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of program fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of making a false statement.
In his plea, Parker admitted he falsely claimed to be a service-disabled veteran and a war hero in order to obtain more than $6.7 million in contracts from the Veterans Administration and more than $748,000 in contracts from the Department of Defense. The contracts were awarded under the Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program.
After an extensive investigation, federal agents determined that Parker and his company, Silver Star Construction LLC of Blue Springs, Mo., and Stilwell, Kan., fraudulently claimed Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business status in order to obtain federal government contracts. In fact, Parker never was classified as a service-disabled veteran by the Veterans Administration or the Department of Defense.
In March 2011, Parker submitted a fraudulent resume in which he manufactured a history as a war hero, including a record of service in Vietnam, three Silver Stars and three Purple Heart Medals. State and federal records show that Parker served in the Missouri National Guard from 1963 to 1968, during which he spent six months on active duty. In 1968 he was honorably discharged as a Senior Engineer Equipment Mechanic with the rank of Specialist E-5. His only decoration was an expert rifle badge. He never left the state of Missouri while on active duty or while assigned to the Missouri National Guard.
Sentencing is set for June 16. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 87 months in federal prison.
Co-defendants who are awaiting trial include:
Mary Parker, 67, Blue Springs, Mo.
Michael J. Parker, 37, Blue Springs, Mo.
Thomas Whitehead, 59, Leawood, Kan.
Silver Star Construction, LLC
Grissom commended the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Division and the General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt for their work on the case.