Fort Stewart housing provider pleads guilty to fraud scheme
FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - A housing contractor plead guilty in a scheme that defrauded the U.S. military out of millions of dollars and left our nation’s service men and women exposed to hazards at home.
Balfour Beatty Communities will have to shell out more than $65 million in restitution after pleading guilty to the fraud scheme this week.
This company is one of the largest providers of privatized military housing with communities on dozens of bases and posts, including Fort Stewart.
Federal prosecutors say Balfour Beatty Communities lied on maintenance and repair reports. Something that allowed them to profit millions in performance bonuses paid out by service branches.
Court documents show this went on for six years, and most of the false reports dealt with maintenance and resident satisfaction.
It’s a story WTOC has covered since 2019, when the military declared a housing crisis with on-base units. That’s after 70 men and women living at Fort Stewart voiced concerns about the safety and health of their homes.
It was in response to a survey by the Military Family Advisory Network who took their concerns to the Department of Defense.
In light of the plea, U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Southern District, David Estes, is calling the company’s actions “despicable”, writing in a statement, “The men and women who live in our nation’s military housing, including those at Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon, deserve prompt and professional maintenance service from their housing provider.”
Back in September of this year, the federal government announced a new housing facility is coming to the base.
WTOC will update you as that project pushes forward.
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