Two charged for defrauding federal demolition program

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(The Center Square) – Two Michigan men are charged with multiple felonies, accused of conducting separate criminal enterprises to defraud the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program of funds available to contractors conducting demolitions for areas hit the hardest by the financial crisis.

David Jeremy Gillespie, 39, of Detroit, is charged with conducting a scheme whereby Detroit Environmental Solutions, LLC, purported to be another business entity, BBEK Environmental, to satisfy TARP air quality monitoring for asbestos and other harmful chemicals.

Prosecutors say Gillespie operated a criminal enterprise under false pretenses and lied to a peace officer.

David Holman, 48, of Metamora, is charged with operating a scheme that fraudulently billed TARP and the city of Detroit more than $1 million collectively for contaminated dirt used to fill demolition sites that his company, Den-Man Contracting, obtained for free from prohibited or unknown sources.

Prosecutors say Holman knew the backfill material violated terms of multiple contracts he had with the city, and failed to do contamination testing. Detroit has incurred over $3.5 million to test the sites where Den-Man Contracting’s prohibited-source dirt was used. About 87 of those properties have failed testing standards for contaminants while 51 residential properties remain untested.

Prosecutors say Holman operated a criminal enterprise under false pretenses.

“Criminal enterprises target public funding programs, where hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars are awarded in contracts to fulfill public work,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “We must vigilantly defend public funds from abuse and criminal greed, especially when those crimes impact public health and safety.”

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