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Owner, company plead guilty to US contract fraud

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DES MOINES (AP) A Nebraska businessman and two construction companies he controlled have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, admitting to a scheme to obtain millions in contracts intended for disabled veterans.

Ram Hingorani pleaded guilty to major program fraud Friday, under a plea agreement expected to resolve a long-running case in federal court in Des Moines. Midwest Paving pleaded guilty to money laundering, while Midwest Contracting pleaded guilty to major program fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors dismissed charges against Ronald Waugh, a disabled veteran from Glenwood.

Hingorani and Waugh started Midwest Contracting in 2007 claiming that Waugh controlled its operations, which allowed the company to participate in a program for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. Hingorani actually ran the company, which received $23 million for work in Iowa and Nebraska.

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