Recorder News Staff
FONDA -- The husband and wife owners of a Gloversville construction company were indicted for allegedly defrauding the workers' compensation system in their bid for a project in the city of Amsterdam, according to the state Inspector General's Office.
Alan Jon Squires, 47, and Bonnie Jean Squires, 46, both of 27 William St., Gloversville, were indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury and arraigned Wednesday on felony charges for an alleged scheme stemming from a bid submitted by their company, AB Construction and Environmental, to rehabilitate mixed-use buildings in Amsterdam, according to State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.
Alan Jon Squires was indicted on charges of three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. Bonnie Jean Squires was indicted on the charge of second-degree forgery, a felony.
The Squires were arraigned Wednesday in Montgomery County Court and released after posting bail.
In 2013, the husband and wife team reportedly submitted a successful $341,400 bid to the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency to rehabilitate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings at 44 and 46 E. Main St. The couple's bid was about a third of the amount of the next highest bid submitted and they had listed several subcontractors they planned to use for the project, according to Scott.
When the couple filed paperwork with the city's Engineering Department and AIDA for building permits, they allegedly claimed to be exempt from having workers' compensation insurance coverage for the project.
State law requires employers to employers to have workers' compensation coverage for their employees and companies using subcontractors must attest to the coverage for any project they oversee, according to Scott.
The Squires allegedly altered workers' compensation exemption forms to make it appear as if AB Construction was exempt from workers' compensation coverage.
"These business owners used fraud to gain an unfair advantage over honest competitors," Scott said in a prepared statement. "I will vigorously pursue anyone who defrauds the workers' compensation system and I am gratified for the partnership of Montgomery County District Attorney James E. Conboy, and county grand jurors, in our efforts to help ensure a fair and just public works bidding process."
Scott thanked the Amsterdam and Gloversville police departments for their assistance with the arrests, along with Montgomery County District Attorney James "Jed" Conboy and his office for prosecuting the case.