Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the indictment and arraignment of the husband and wife owners of a Gloversville construction company for defrauding the worker’s compensation system in their bid on a construction project sponsored by the City of Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency (“AIDA”).
Alan Jon Squires, 47, and Bonnie Jean Squires, 46, of William Street, Gloversville, the owners of AB Construction and Environmental, LLC., were both indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury and arraigned on felony charges alleging various crimes as part of a scheme to defraud the workers’ compensation system in their bid to rehabilitate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings in the City of Amsterdam.
Alan Jon Squires was indicted on charges including three counts Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree and three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, all felonies. Bonnie Jean Squires was indicted on the charge of Forgery in the Second Degree, a felony.
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that in 2013 the husband and wife team submitted a successful $341,400 bid to the AIDA to rehabilitate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings at 44 and 46 East Main Street. The bid was about a third of the amount of the next highest bid submitted, and it listed several subcontractors the Squires planned to use for the project. When the Squires applied for building permits for the work, they filed paperwork with the City of Amsterdam’s Engineering Department and the AIDA attesting they were exempt from having workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the project.
Under State law, employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees and companies that use subcontractors must attest to the coverage for any project they oversee. The Squires allegedly altered workers’ compensation exemption forms to make it appear as if AB Construction was exempt from workers’ compensation coverage.
“These business owners used fraud to gain an unfair advantage over honest competitors,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will vigorously pursue anyone who defrauds the workers’ compensation system and I am gratified for the partnership of Montgomery County District Attorney James E. Conboy, and county grand jurors, in our efforts to help ensure a fair and just public works bidding process.”
The Squires were arraigned on the indicted charges in Montgomery County Court and remained out of jail in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond bail for Alan Squires, and $1,500 cash or $3,000 bond bail for Bonnie Squires.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the Amsterdam and Gloversville Police Departments for their assistance with the arrests and Montgomery County District Attorney Conboy and his office for prosecuting this matter.
The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office