Builder Admits He Cheated Illinois

     CHICAGO (CN) – A construction firm president admitted he used a minority-owned business as a front to get millions of dollars in public contracts, the Illinois attorney general said.
     Thomas J. Williams, 81, of Peoria, resigned from Peoria Heights-based Williams Brothers Construction in February.
     Williams admitted he used BJB Enterprises as a front to be get two state contracts in 2010, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.
     The contracts were to restore the historic Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and to build a new science complex at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
     Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of felony mail fraud in Sangamon County Court.
     “Williams Brothers used this subcontractor as a front to win significant state construction contracts,” Madigan said in the statement. “The company’s illegal acts denied legitimate minority-owned businesses from securing public contracts and defrauded taxpayers.”
     Williams told the Illinois Capital Development Board that it would hire BJB on the two projects to meet Illinois’ requirements that a portion of the construction work be completed by minority-owned businesses. But it didn’t, Madigan said.
     Williams was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to Illinois and was sentenced to 30 months of probation.

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