Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
October 21, 2021
Debarred Former Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements Involving Government Contracts
Jacksonville, Florida – Billy Micah Sermons (44, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), a federal agency. Sermons faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and payment of restitution to the federal government. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, in May 2015, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) began investigating the business practices of Excel Components, LLC, a business involving Sermons and others. Excel conducted business with the federal government by contracting with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). These contracts involved supplying various items to be used by members of the United States military throughout the Department of Defense. As a result of their investigation, in September 2015, DLA debarred Sermons from contracting with the federal government due to his involvement with Excel and another business contracting with DLA, East Coast Machine and Tool LLC. DLA debarred Sermons until August 19, 2018.
Also, in May 2015, Sermons, using the identity of another individual, (Person #1), submitted or caused to be submitted a registration for Franklin Southern Manufacturing LLC (FSM) in SAM.GOV, a U.S. government-wide, online portal operated by the GSA. Entities register in SAM.GOV in order to do business with the federal government, to include contracting. Sermons successfully registered FSM in SAM.GOV to do business with the federal government. Thereafter, during the timeframe of his debarment and knowing that he was ineligible for the award of contracts by any federal agency, Sermons used the identity of Person #1 and FSM to circumvent the terms of his debarment. He did this in order to continue bidding on and obtaining federal government contracts involving the DLA. As part of the contracting process, on multiple occasions during his debarment, Sermons falsely certified or caused to be falsely certified within SAM.GOV that none of the principals at FSM were debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, or declared ineligible for the award of contracts by any federal agency.
This case was investigated by the U.S. General Services Administration - Office of Inspector General and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the Defense Logistics Agency. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.
Source: U.S. Attorney's Office press release