A Florida man admitted to defrauding approximately 1,200 companies that he promised would get Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contracts without competition, a U.S. attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
Michael Pirolo, 48, employed telemarketers at his business, Government Contract Registry Inc., who falsely and fraudulently promised to register companies with FEMA for $500, according to the U.S. attorney’s office’s statement. FEMA would give registered businesses preference when awarding contracts, Pirolo’s employees told the companies.
Government Contract Registry’s “communications were based on instructions and scripts that they had received from Pirolo,” the statement said. The telemarketers “falsely stated that FEMA would bypass the contract acquisition process, contact the registered victim-company, and then offer” them a contract without competition.
Pirolo also ordered his employees to seek a $500 renewal free from the victim companies.
Government Contract Registry also provided companies with an online form that requested the same information as FEMA – only the federal agency doesn’t charge a fee and doesn’t register companies.
Pirolo pleaded guilty to wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.
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