The owner and office manager of a South Florida construction company are facing charges after authorities said they submitted fake invoices and other paperwork to Miami-Dade County to take tens of thousands in insurance reimbursements.
ABC Construction Inc. owner and president Jorge Gonzalez and office manager Laura Gonzalez are both charged with uttering forged instruments and criminal use of personal ID information, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Jorge Gonzalez, 55, also faces a second-degree grand theft charge. The company itself also faces a dozen similar charges.
Prosecutors said Jorge Gonzalez, Laura Gonzalez and the company submitted fictitious invoices, insurance forms and altered receipts to Miami-Dade County to receive insurance reimbursements they weren't authorized to receive. The incidents were related to two county contracts awarded to ABC including a parking garage and a pedestrian overpass bridge at a Metrorail station.
The suspects are alleged to have received more than $57,000 in insurance reimbursement payments, prosecutors said. ABC has performed work for various Miami-Dade departments for around 25 years making more than $60 million from the county, officials said.
"There can never be a rationalization of any business process that uses false invoices and documents to get things done," State attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "I congratulate the Office of the Inspector General for exposing this problem and bringing it to my prosecutors for resolution."
Jail records showed Jorge Gonzalez was being held Wednesday on $45,000 bond. Laura Gonzalez, 52, was being held on $25,000 bond. Attorney information wasn't available.
"It is unfathomable that a company that has made over 60 million dollars from the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County would stoop so low to defraud the County in this manner," Miami-Dade Inspector General Mary T. Cagle said in a statement. "In addition to the ongoing prosecution, the OIG will be pursuing debarment of this company and its principal from any future County work."