Feds say white Wisconsin woman claimed she was Black to win contracts
A Franklin building agency received a loved ones member to pose as a disadvantaged Black…
A Franklin building agency received a loved ones member to pose as a disadvantaged Black business enterprise proprietor to earn Army contracts established apart for these kinds of enterprises, federal investigators say.
The investigation promises that Nikki Platt’s business, Broadway Construction, with an tackle in Milwaukee, was a front to funnel $7 million in federal government contracts established aside for minority companies to Platt Building, her father’s business.
Particulars have been discovered in a not too long ago unsealed application for a research warrant, filed final 12 months, by an agent with the Inspector General’s Place of work of the General Providers Administration, which is in demand of federal properties.
It sought to look for data held by a complex alternatives corporation that delivered web, network and server operations, plus IT devices, assist and routine maintenance for Platt Construction and Broadway Building.
No costs experienced been filed as of Wednesday. Neither Nikki Platt nor her father, Richard Platt, returned messages seeking comment.
A 2015 short article in the Daily Reporter, a design sector publication, explained Nikki Platt, 44, was joining her family’s development company as place of work supervisor and director of promoting after a career in musical theater in New York Metropolis.
She also used to function Nikki’s Magnificent Toes Dance Studio in Kenosha, and served phase musicals at her alma mater, St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, in Kenosha.
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In applications for certification as a Disadvantaged Small business Business, Platt represented she was Black, and that Broadway failed to share business office room, workers, finances or functions with any other enterprise.
“Opposite to the ethnicity info on the software, Nicole Platt’s Wisconsin Driver’s license exhibits her to be a blond, blue-eyed, white female,” the affidavit states. “Other proof, as more described herein, demonstrates that both then and now, Broadway
Construction has a near and ongoing connection with Platt Design.”
Wisconsin’s Office of Transportation turned down Broadway’s DBE application. In 2019, she applied to the Small Organization Administration for qualification to bid less than a federal established-apart method. The SBA rejected Broadway since it didn’t look to have gear or workforce, and simply because Platt — who had been a dancer and in the dance organization till 2015 — failed to have a history in development.
Afterwards in 2019, Broadway gained HUBZone certification from the SBA. In her software, Platt stated the firm was located in a Traditionally Underutilized Business enterprise Zone and at least 35% of its employees lived in the identical zone.
That application did not include things like a assert by Platt to be Black her driver’s license was element of the software.
From 2019 to 2021, Broadway received six HUBZone established-aside contracts worth $7 million from the U.S. Military for a variety of initiatives at Fort McCoy. The Military relied on the SBA designation that Broadway Development was suitable for the contracts.
In accordance to the investigator, though Broadway had an tackle at a barber shop that was inside a qualifying zone, the agency only had 4 staff, none of whom were building staff or tradesmen. The 4 also worked for Platt.
The affidavit says that Platt later self-qualified to yet another governing administration databases that Broadway Construction was a deprived, Black, woman-owned business and HUBZone certified.
The affidavit explained investigators executed surveillance on task web-sites, reviewed financial institution transactions involving Platt Construction and Broadway and e-mails concerning Nikki Platt and different other contractors, accountants and insurers. According to the government, it exhibits how Broadway functioned as a mere move-by means of for function done by Platt.
Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.