Prominent Washington Twp. developers David C. 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 civil engineering company called TesTech to obtain millions of dollars in federally funded transportation contracts.
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Chronology of TesTech case
July 7, 2011 — Under sealed warrant federal agents search the Washington Twp. headquartrs of TesTech Inc., a civil engineering company.
July 8, 2011 — Sherif Aziz, who said he is the sole owner of TesTech, says his company has been in discussions with the U.S. Department of Transportation “over the last few years, responding to their questions about our company.”
Oct. 16, 2011 — A Dayton Daily News investigation finds that TesTech won millions of dollars in public contracts through a federal program f0r disadvantaged companies while being controlled by wealthy developers David C. and Shery Oakes of Washington Twp. Aziz, an Egyptian-American, obtained disadvantaged business status for TesTech by claiming to be the owner and of African descent.
Oct. 23, 2011 — The Daily News reports that the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services are investigating TesTech’s compliance in minority set-aside programs.
Dec. 16, 2011 — The Ohio Department of Transportation notifies Aziz that it has denied his application to continue certification of TesTech in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. TesTech sues ODOT, but later drops the lawsuit.
Aug. 1, 2012 — TesTech is kicked out of the federal DBE program after a hearing officer overrules the company’s appeal and says the Oakeses and Aziz deceived the government to obtain lucrative taxpayer-funded contracts.
June 5, 2013 — A settlement agreement is unsealed at U.S. District Court in Columbus, showing that the Oakeses and Aziz agree to pay nearly $2.9 million to settle civil claims that they defrauded the U.S. government by making false claims about TesTech to obtain government contracts.
Staying with the story
The Dayton Daily News has reported on the TesTech story since the FBI raided the company’s Washington Twp. offices in July 2011. Our stories prompted state and federal authorities to investigate TesTech and disqualify the business from programs that award government contracts to disadvantaged businesses.