Owners of Groveland Companies Sentenced for Defrauding Government Contracting Programs

BOSTON – Three men were sentenced today in federal court in Boston for conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain government contracts.

Frank Apicella, 63, of Groveland, Mass.; Michael Sforza, 59, of Alpharetta, Ga.; and James Apicella, 37, of Kingston, N.H., were sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two years of probation, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture of $300,000 each. In addition, Frank Apicella and Michael Sforza were also ordered to each pay a $300,000 fine. The defendants pleaded guilty in February 2020 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of mail fraud.

Beginning in 2011 the defendants used Tactical Office Solutions (TOS), a company run by James Apicella, as a front to bid on government contract work that was set aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) companies. Although the contracts were bid on and awarded to TOS through SDVOSB and HUBZone set-aside programs, TOS never performed the work. Rather, the work was actually mostly performed by a company called FENS, which was owned and operated by Frank Apicella and Michael Sforza, and which was not eligible to compete for contracts through the set-aside programs.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jeffrey K. Stachowiak, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Northeast Field Office; Luis Hernandez, Special Agent in Charge of the General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, New England Regional Office; and Michael Conner, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Army, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Criminal Investigation Command, made the announcement.  The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration provided assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Miron Bloom of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit and Annapurna Balakrishna of Lelling’s Civil Division prosecuted the case.