A New Hyde Park man was charged Thursday with submitting fraudulent surety bonds to New York State to obtain over $5 million in construction payments on false pretenses, authorities said.
Amninder Singh, 37, and Rawinder Dhillon, 32, of Staten Island, allegedly owned and operated a construction company that was awarded contracts by the state’s Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, authorities said.
The program, which was started in 2013, utilizes federal funding for housing aid, small businesses and infrastructure.
Federal prosecutors allege in or about February 2022 that a subcontractor that performed roofing work for the construction company was not paid for their work. When the subcontractor was provided one of the fraudulent bonds by the program to obtain insurance payment, the insurance carrier said there was no record of issuing the bond itself and that it was fraudulent.
“The defendants allegedly conspired to obtain over $5 million from the state of New York based on phony construction surety bonds. Unfortunately, this is another example of a program intended to help communities recover from disaster being targeted for manipulation and fraud,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael Driscoll said in a statement. “The FBI is committed to ensuring that individuals who conspire to commit fraud against the government face the consequences for their schemes.”
Singh and Dhillon are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted of the top charge, both men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the authorities said.
“New Yorkers rely on the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the construction companies and subcontractors supported by GOSR to rebuild after devastating storms,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “As alleged, Rawinder Dhillon and Amninder Singh greedily defrauded GOSR and obtained more than $5 million of construction payments on false pretenses. Thanks to our partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dhillon and Singh will now be brought to justice for their conduct.”