On July 17, 2009, Patriot Services Inc. (“Patriot”), a temporary staffing company used by various government agencies and departments, and its owner/president, Stephanie Blackmon, pled guilty to making a false statement to the U.S. Small Business Association (“SBA”).
Although Ms. Blackmon was officially the owner/president of Patriot from November 2003, the operations of Patriot was actually run by Ms. Blackmon’s former employer who also ran other temporary staffing companies. Specifically, Ms. Blackmon admitted to providing false statements so that Patriot could receive a certification under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act. This certification, designated for small businesses run by economically and socially disadvantaged people, qualified Patriot to receive government contracts specifically set aside for 8(a) companies. Since Ms. Blackmon is an African-American, Patriot qualified for the certification. In addition, Patriot also used Ms. Blackmon’s status as a service-disabled veteran to receive other contracts as well. The government had awarded Patriot $5.4 million in contracts.