Former SIUE employee sentenced for lying to federal agents - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former SIUE employee sentenced for lying to federal agents

ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

A former employee of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville has been sentenced to three years in prison for making a false statement.

Kwa Mister, 38, of Fairview Heights, Ill., was sentenced to three years of probation, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment as a result of his conviction of two counts of making a false statement to the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.

According to U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton, the Illinois Department of Transportation entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to be the fiscal agent for the Highway Construction Preparatory Training Program.

Wigginton said other facts revealed in court showed that an investigation and an audit revealed that Mister got five contracts between SIU-E and Phoenix Support Services for Phoenix Support Services to purportedly serve as an independent consultant to help with the training program, but that from March 2010 through January 2011, an audit discovered five purchase orders, five contracts and at least four justification for sole source purchase or contract forms concerning the procurement of services from the director of Phoenix Support Serviecs.

The procurement of these contracts with Phoenix Support Services was initiated by the program manager for the Highway Construction Preparatory Training Program, Kwa Mister.

According to Wigginton, Mister used his mother for sole source contracts and concealed the family relationship and the potential conflict of interest from SIU-E.

When the contracts with Phoenix Support Services was under investigation by SIU-E, Mister lied to SIU-E as to whether the owner of Phoenix Support Services was his mother.

Mister was charged with lying to federal agents concerning whether he provided false information to SIU-E.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of Southern Illinois University and the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor.

The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.

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