Missouri man pleads guilty in $335 million fraud scheme involving Topeka contractors

A man from Missouri has pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme involving two Topeka contractors that defrauded the government of $335 million mean to go to businesses
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:51 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 12:25 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Parkville, MO man has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme involving construction contracts meant for businesses owned by minorities, veterans and service disabled veterans.

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, Patrick Michael Dingle formally admitted to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and major program fraud on Monday in a Kansas City, MO courtroom.

In June of 2019, Dingle conspired with Matthew C. McPherson, of Olathe, and Matthew L. Torgenson, of Topeka, in a $335 million scheme that secured federal contracts intended for firms owned by veterans and/or minorities.

The Journal reports that the three won 199 contracts between 2009 and 2018 in which they were not qualified for as owners of Zieson Construction.

The Kansas City Business Journal says Zieson’s nominal owner was listed as Stephen Ziegler, who is a black, service-disabled veteran. In May of 2019, he pleaded guilty for making a false statement to federal officials.

Dingle also admitted falsely claiming $799,425 in business expenses in the 2016 tax year, and defrauded the government of $615,847 by filing false tax returns from 2013 to 2016.

Dingle could face eight years in prison, and has agreed to pay back the amount he defrauded the government in taxes.

McPherson has not been sentenced. He faces up to five years in Federal Prison without parole.

Torgenson died in November of 2019 at the age of 46.

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