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Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst contractor sentenced for $1.4M fraud

A gavel sits on display in a military courtroom Jan. 29, 2014, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (Airman 1st Class William Johnson/U.S. Air Force)
September 28, 2019

A Pennsylvania man who worked as a contractor on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and another military installation was sentenced Thursday to 28 month in federal prison for his role in a $1.4 million scheme.

James Conway, 48, was a regional manager for a construction contractor on projects at joint base and Picatinny Arsenal in North Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. He previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of accepting unlawful kickbacks, officials said.

According to documents, from Sept. 2009 to Aug. 2015, Conway secretly owned a company called Walsh Construction Services, LLC, which purported to provide construction services. Using his position as a contractor, Conway steered the contracts to Walsh Construction for jobs installations. To conceal his ownership of Walsh Construction, Conway signed the subcontracts as Keith Walsh, the purported owner or vice president of Walsh Construction, authorities said.

Conway used Walsh Construction to obtain payments from the construction contractor by submitting invoices and bills on behalf of Walsh Construction for work. Many of the invoices and bills included charges for work that Walsh Construction only partially did, or for work that was not performed at all by Walsh Construction, causing losses of $1.4 million, according to court documents.

Conway also accepted kickbacks totaling $180,345, from four subcontractors, authorities said.

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In addition to the prison term, Wigenton sentenced Conway to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1.4 million in restitution.

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© 2019 Burlington County Times