California man, 3 firms plead guilty to defrauding agencies

September 5, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A California man and three Bay Area companies have pleaded guilty in federal court in South Dakota and paid nearly $1.1 million of restitution for defrauding NASA and other agencies.

South Dakota U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons’ office said Wednesday that 55-year-old Wallace Tang of Alamo, California, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Laserlith Corporation, Black Hills Nanosystems Corporation and Blue Sky Engineering pleaded guilty through corporate representatives to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Authorities say the restitution equals the money received from defrauding NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Officials say the companies in South Dakota and other places developed a scheme to fraudulently get federally funded projects, enriching Tang and the companies.

Authorities say the companies got federal support for “essentially equivalent work” and hid relationships between companies from awarding agencies.