Crime

Overland Park man accused of defrauding government using disabled veterans program

File photo.
File photo. The Wichita Eagle

Federal prosecutors said Friday that an Overland Park man has been indicted on charges of defrauding the federal government out of more than $12 million.

Troy L. Bechtel is charged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., with two counts of major program fraud and two counts of lying to investigators.

The charges stem from a $12.7 million U.S. Defense Department contract with a Merriam-based company, United Medical Design Builders.

The contract was awarded under a program designed for businesses owned or operated by service-disabled military veterans.

But the disabled U.S. Army veteran that the company claimed ran UMDB, was not involved in the day-to-day operations and was rarely in the office, according to the indictment.

Bechtel, 49, ran the company’s operations without consulting the veteran, who had signed a blank piece of paper that was scanned and used for the company’s official correspondence.

As a result of the fraud, UMDB was paid for designing and building health care facilities at four U.S. Air Force bases.

The disabled veteran, Joseph David Dial Jr., has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and program fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

Bechtel’s first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Tony Rizzo covers federal and state courts for The Kansas City Star, where he has been a reporter for more than 30 years. He is a Kansas City native and veteran of the U.S. Army.


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