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Company owner sentenced in minority contracting fraud case

CINCINNATI (AP) — The head of an Ohio company who allegedly schemed to win contracts that were intended for minority-owned businesses was sentenced to prison.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett ordered Doug Evans to serve 21 months in prison and pay a fine of $25,000 in Cincinnati federal court on Tuesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The judge also ordered his company, Evans Landscaping, to pay a $250,000 fine.

The CEO of the Newtown, Ohio, company created a front company so he could fraudulently obtain $2 million in demolition jobs from the City of Cincinnati and another $11 million in contracts from the state, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said an African American computer consultant for the company was given “nominal” ownership although Evans controlled it.

The scheme that lasted several years was “born out of sheer greed” and “required persistent deception and concealment to numerous third parties and government entities,” prosecutors said in court documents.

Barett noted Evans’ scheme harmed legitimate minority-owned businesses and other small businesses that had competed for those contracts.

In his appearance Tuesday, Evans apologized to his family and around 300 employees.

“I know in my heart I did not intend to hurt anyone, including the government,” he said, adding: “All I ever wanted to do is give people a chance to work hard and live the American dream as I have.”

Evans’ attorney, Ben Dusing, said he will appeal. Barrett allowed Evans to wait 90 days before reporting to prison.