A Florida man was charged Monday with fraud in connection with a kickback scheme involving federal government contracts, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
David Wikel, president of the Florida-based Therma-Seal Roof Systems LLC, was charged with procurement fraud for providing kickbacks in connection with a $1.7 million federal subcontract to retrofit the roof of the Ron de Lugo Federal Building on St. Thomas, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors have charged Wikel with paying over $200,000 in kickbacks to a senior project manager for the prime contractor on the roof project, and that individual ultimately funneled $85,000 back to Wikel, according to the news release.
Wikel is also accused of falsely inflating the costs he billed under the subcontract in order to cover the kickbacks.
The individual who received the kickbacks from Wikel is identified in court documents as “B.P.” and his son, “J.P.”, is accused of acting as an intermediary.
Bhaskar Patel, 67, of Windermere, Fla., pleaded guilty in August to charges that he took more than $2.5 million in kickbacks and bribes over a five-year period from subcontractors he was overseeing for projects on St. Croix and St. Thomas. He faces a possible 10-year prison sentence.
The case is being investigated by the General Services Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Brooks.