US charges vets’ contract fraud in Iowa, Neb. work

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two businessmen are disputing an indictment alleging they fraudulently qualified for federal contracts meant for disabled veterans’ businesses in order to win $23.4 million in construction work in Nebraska and Iowa.

Ram Hingorani and Ronald Waugh pleaded not guilty this week during appearances in federal court in Des Moines to a 32-count indictment that includes charges of fraud and money laundering.

Hingorani’s business, Midwest Paving, and another that both men operated, Midwest Contracting, are also charged.

The indictment alleges the men conspired to use Midwest Contracting to win 45 contracts from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense under the government’s program designed to help small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. The work was done for the VA in Des Moines and Omaha and at Offutt Air Force Base.

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