San Antonio businessman sentenced in VA fraud scheme

President of Saunders MEP sentenced for defrauding VA in connection with architectural, engineering contracts

SAN ANTONIO – A 71-year-old San Antonio businessman was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in federal prison for defrauding the Department of Veterans Administration in connection with architectural and engineering contracts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Jonathan Patrick Saunders, who was the president of Saunders MEP, was sentenced Thursday to prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and has been ordered to pay $1,494,000 restitution, U.S. attorneys said.

Saunders pleaded guilty Jan. 6 to one count of wire fraud. U.S. attorneys said that by pleading guilty, Saunders admitted that over a period of 5 years beginning in March 2008, he knowingly provided fraudulent information to the VA in order to obtain up to $2 million in task orders from the VA for projects to be performed in and around San Antonio.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia found that Saunders made false representations to the VA. In his SF-330 "Architect-Engineer Qualifications" package, Saunders falsely represented that his business qualified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, that certain persons with particular qualifications worked for his firm and that certain projects were completed by his firm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Saunders used interstate wires to execute his fraud scheme, authorities said.

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