TesTech owners pay $2.9 million to settle civil suit

Published: Thursday, June 06, 2013 @ 12:26 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 06, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

Prominent Washington Twp. developers David and Shery Oakes, along with their former business partner Sherif Aziz, have agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $2.9 million to settle civil claims that they defrauded the government by making false statements about a company called TesTech to obtain millions of dollars in federally funded transportation contracts in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan from April 2005 to June 2009.

In a settlement agreement released to the Dayton Daily News on Thursday by federal officials, the Oakeses and Aziz admit no liability and the government reserves its rights to bring criminal charges. The parties agree that the government has a valid claim against the defendants for more than $5 million, and the government can go after the full amount if the defendants try to avoid their obligation to pay the settlement amount of $2,883,946.30.

The settlement was reached “to avoid the delay, uncertainty, inconvenience and expense of protracted litigation.”

Content Continues Below
Federal transportation investigators built a case showing that the Oakeses were the real owners of TesTech Inc., even though Aziz represented himself as owner and president on paper in order to convince the government that TesTech was eligible for special federal contracting preference under the Transportation Department’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.