Indian American, partner plead guilty to business fraud in Washington D.C. area

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NEW YORK – An Indian American businessman in the Washington, D.C. area, Yogesh Patel, and his partner Wesley Burnett have pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining nearly $3 million in set-aside contracts, according to a Lexology.com report.

According to the report, Patel owned United Native Technologies, Inc. (UNTI), which was a certified small business and Burnett owned Confederate Group and Total Barrier Works (TBW), which provided security systems services to the government.

Both of them met at a conference in Costa Rica and allegedly conspired to use UNTI’s status to obtain set-aside contracts while Burnett and his company would actually perform the work and allegedly agreed to pay Patel approximately 4.5 percent of the total value of any contract awarded to UNTI.

Although Patel received disability payments from the Social Security Administration, he falsely certified to the SBA that he ran UNTI full-time, according to the report.

He also falsely certified that UNTI was not receiving any outside financial assistance although Burnett and his company were providing financial support.

According to Lexology.com, Patel was sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit approximately $550,000, while Burnett was sentenced to 42 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit approximately $700,000.