Construction company owner convicted of illegally securing contracts intended for veterans, minorities

A Kansas construction company owner has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for illegally obtaining U.S. government contracts violated for veterans and minorities.

Matthew C. McPherson, 45, who is neither a veteran nor a minority, must also pay $ 5.5 million after his conviction for fraud in a federal court.

According to federal prosecutors, McPherson and his accomplice ran Topeka-based Zieson Construction Co., which was awarded nearly 200 federal contracts that had been allocated to veterans and minorities.

Stephon Ziegler, 61, a black disabled veteran, was listed as the owner of Zieson Construction.

“But Ziegler did not control the day-to-day operations or long-term decision-making of Zieson. “McPherson and his accomplices actually controlled and operated Zieson and received most of Zieson’s profits through their respective business units,” said officials from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri last week.

In June 2019, McPherson pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and major program fraud. He admitted to having participated in a fraud conspiracy that operated from September 2009 to March 2018.

“This contractor not only deceived the government, but cheated to get contracts that should have gone to companies run by disabled veterans and minority owners,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “His greed and deception allowed him to enrich himself at the expense of disabled veterans and minority owners.”

McPherson is scheduled to be sentenced next week for other federal charges in connection with the fraud case.

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