The husband and wife owners of a Gloversville construction firm were indicted Wednesday for fraud in connection with a 2013 building rehabilitation project in Amsterdam, according to the NYS Inspector General's office.
Alan Jon Squires, 47, and Bonnie Jean Squires, 46, of William Street in Gloversville, were both indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on Wednesday and arraigned on felonies related to their alleged attempt to defraud the state workers compensation program.
The IG's office said in a press release that in 2013 the Squires' construction firm, AB Construction and Environmental LLC, submitted a successful $341,400 bid to the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency to rehabilitate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings at 44 and 46 East Main Street in Amsterdam.
NYS Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott noted in the press release that AB's bid was about a third of the amount of the next highest bidder.
The IG's office said when the Squires applied for building permits with the city's engineering department and the development agency they listed several subcontractors they planned to use, and allegedly altered workers' compensation forms to make it appear as if their firm was exempt from workers' compensation coverage.
As a result, the Squires' bid came in significantly lower than bids for the project from other companies, according to the IG.
Under state law, employers are required to maintain workers' compensation coverage for their employees, and companies that use subcontractors must attest to the coverage for any project they oversee, according to the IG.
“These business owners used fraud to gain an unfair advantage over honest competitors,” said Leahy Scott in the press release. “I will vigorously pursue anyone who defrauds the workers’ compensation system and I am gratified for the partnership of Montgomery County District Attorney James E. Conboy, and county grand jurors, in our efforts to help ensure a fair and just public works bidding process.”
Alan Jon Squires was indicted on three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. Bonnie Jean Squires was indicted on one count of second-degree forgery, a felony.
Alan Jon Squires was released from jail on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bail and Bonnie Jean Squires was also released on $1,500 cash or $3,000 bond.
Reach Gazette reporter Daniel Fitzsimmons at 852-9605, [email protected] or @DanFitzsimmons on Twitter.