RONALD A. VILLANUEVA TO REPORT TO PRISON ON AUG. 16, 2019
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2019 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) — A rising Filipino American Republican star, Ronald A. Villanueva, an elected House Delegate of Virginia, was sentenced on Tuesday
(July 2) to two and half years in prison and ordered to pay restitution for $524,533 after pleading guilty to one of the original four counts of indictment in a fraud conspiracy by running small businesses in the names of unsuspecting disadvantaged women who have no knowledge about their operations.
Between 2005 and 2010, Mr. Villanueva, in conspiracy with another, while running SEK Solutions, LLC, selling software products to federal government agencies, won $60-M federal contract.
Before SEK’s business operation was to end in 2009 under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Program that has a contract whose lifespan is nine years put up another minority-owned business to circumvent the law and continue to operate the business model of SEK Solutions under another name, Karda Systems, Inc. LLC. The SBA 8(a) program aids, counsels, and assists small businesses by providing access to capital, training and development programs for entrepreneurs, and opportunities to compete for government contracts.
Between 2011 and 2014, Karda earned over a $20-M contract with Karda’s sole owner kept in the dark over the business operation. The woman owner of Karda was offered to operate a storefront retail business without any knowledge that her name and her signatures were raking millions of dollars.
Under the SBA 8(a) program, a beneficiary of the program can operate the business to an unextendible nine years. The beneficiary must be “unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.”
A non-disadvantaged individual is “any individual who does not claim disadvantaged status, does not qualify as disadvantaged, or upon whose disadvantaged status an applicant or participant does not rely in qualifying for the 8(a) program.”
Control means “strategic policy setting” and “day-to-day management and administration of business operations.”
The minority business must be managed a full-time basis by one or more disadvantaged individuals. They “must devote full-time to the business.”
Villanueva and his conspirator extracted money from Karda thru consulting fees, rent and other business expenses. Acting as Executive Vice Presidents of Karda, Villanueva and conspirator directed his conspirator to “direct income in the amount of $1,040,000 from SEK to Karda between 2007 and 2014” to his family.
Villanueva, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was operating Karda while he served from Jan. 2010 to Jan. 2018 as a member of Virginia House of Delegates.
The annual salary for delegates is $17,640 plus per diem per year. Each delegate represents roughly 84,702 people. Candidates for office must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the districts they seek to represent, and qualified to vote for General Assembly legislators. A delegate is a member of the Lower House of Virginia's General Assembly.
Villanueva was initially indicted for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, Conspiracy to defraud the U.S. (Count 1); 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519 and 2 Falsification of Records (Count 2); and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001(a)(3) and 2 aiding and abetting false written statements (Counts 3 &4).
Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk convicted Villanueva on Count 1 and dismissed
the three other counts “with prejudice. The maximum penalties for Count 1 were five years imprisonment and $250,000 fine, full restitution, forfeiture of assets and three years supervised release.”
Judge Smith ordered Villanueva, 49, to 30 months imprisonment, to pay restitution in the amount of $524,533” and without payment of fine. He was to report to prison 45 calendar days from July 2, 2019, at or before 3 p.m. of Aug. 16, 2019.
At a plea agreement last March 19, 2019, Mr. Villanueva pleaded “guilty of the charged offense. The defendant admits the facts set forth in the statement of facts filed with this plea agreement and agrees that those facts establish the guilt of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Villanueva’s counsel, Thomas Bondurant, could not be reached for comment.
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