A fraud case investigated by agents from the Department of Energy and Department of Health and Human Services Inspectors General has resulted in a guilty plea of bribery and kickbacks involving $75,000 of Recovery Act funds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island recently announced that Saul Lemoi, a former senior energy auditor for Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP), a nonprofit organization helping the needy, pleaded guilty to bribery charges and to accepting kickbacks of federal weatherization funds.
CCAP, in Cranston, received $1.5 million in Recovery funds from the Department of Energy for making low-income homes more energy efficient. Lemoi admitted that, in his capacity as senior auditor with CCAP, he steered 41 weatherization projects totaling $75,000 to Weathertight Solutions, LLC, a general contractor in Cranston.
Lemoi failed to disclose that he held an interest in Weathertight Solutions and that Recovery funds were funneled to him for steering the projects to the company. He also admitted that in many instances he knowingly prepared invoices that did not accurately reflect the work that Weathertight Solutions had done on clients’ homes. Many of the invoices submitted bills for work that was not performed.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Lemoi had persuaded an individual to found and start Weathertight Solutions with the promise that Lemoi would assist in making sure CCAP would use the new company to perform the easier weatherization projects.
Lemoi faces up to 15 years imprisonment, a fine of $500,000, and three years parole when he is sentenced on August 23.
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