BOSTON – Three men, including one from Groveland, were charged Friday in federal court in Boston with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and mail fraud in a scheme to obtain government contracts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Frank Apicella, 63, of Groveland; Michael Sforza, 59, of Alpharetta, Georgia; and James Apicella, 37, of Kingston, New Hampshire, were charged with a count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and a count of mail fraud.
Beginning in 2011, the three men used Tactical Office Solutions, a Haverhill company run by James Apicella, to bid for and obtain government contract work that was set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Historically Underutilized Business Zone – or HUBZone – companies, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Although the work was bid by and awarded to Tactical Office Solutions based under these set-aside programs, the work was mostly performed by FENS, a company owned and operated by Frank Apicella and Michael Sforza that was not eligible for these contracts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The website for FENS Associates LLC lists its location as 939 Salem St., Unit 3, Groveland, and says the company was formed in 1991.
“As a company that has been successful selling furniture, design, project management, installation, and other services to the federal government for twenty six years, we fully understand the government marketplace,” according to the company website.
The website for Tactical Office Solutions lists an office at 80 Wingate, Haverhill, and also lists James Apicella at 150 Summer St., Haverhill.
The website for Tactical Office Solutions describes the company as “a full service interior furnishings dealership that works exclusively with GSA [General Services Administration] clientele. Established in 2007 by OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] Veteran James Apicella, Tactical Office Solutions found immediate success in the [Department of Defense/Veterans Administration] arena but has expanded to work with numerous agencies nationwide.”
James Apicella’s LinkedIn page says he attended Pentucket Regional High School from 1995-99 and holds a bachelor of science from Southern Vermont College.
The men face up to five years in prison, a year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 – or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater – if convicted of conspiracy to defraud.
Richard K. Lodge is editor of The Daily News. Follow him on Twitter @RichardLodge_DN.