Group Considering Class-Action Suits Against Any Corporate Cheaters


Group Considering Class-Action Suits Against Any Corporate Cheaters

Minorities in Business Insider
December 24, 2002

Lloyd Chapman, pleased his efforts helped persuade the General Accounting Office to open an investigation into whether some companies are falsely claiming to be small to get federal contracts, tells MBI his goal is to work to get cheaters prosecuted and make them pay huge fines.
Chapman says the Microcomputer Industry Supplier Assn. he heads is considering a class-action lawsuit against any cheating companies and perhaps even government agencies that took no action against cheating firms.

Were finding cheating on such a scale there is just no way people in the federal government didnt know about it, asserts Chapman.

GAO is in the preliminary stage of an investigation sparked by information Chapman gave to the congressional watchdogs Office of Special Investigations. That unit passed the material along to the Acquisition & Sourcing Management Team, which is handling the investigation.
GAO seeks definitive answer

Asked if they expect to answer the question of whether there are cheaters, John Needham and Russ Reider, the principal investigators, answer yes. They add their work will take several months.

MBI incorrectly reported the investigation would be out next month, based on a statement by a GAO spokeswoman who had a different study in mind (MBI, 12/12p1).

One firm challenged by Chapman, GovConnection, has been taken off PRO-Net, the Small Business Admin.s online list of small firms. GovConnection, based in Rockville, MD, was listed as a small company with 50 employees. In fact, it is wholly owned by PC Connection of Merrimack, NH, which has more than 1,300 employees and 2001 sales of more than $1.2 billion.
GC Micro, the Novato, CA, information-technology company for which Chapman is general manager, lost a $50,000 federal contract to GovConnnection in September.

PC Connection has referred press calls to GovConnection, whose officials have not returned calls from MBI and other news media.

Info: Chapman, 415/883-8838;; Needham, Reider, 202/512-5274; GovConnection, 301/545-6868



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