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Fil-Am convicted for defrauding US gov’t



A Filipino-American and former Virginia state delegate was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for defrauding the United States federal government.

Ron A. Villanueva, a Virginia Beach Republican who served as delegate for the 21st District of Virginia from 2010 to 2018, had been charged for improperly helping two Virginia Beach companies secure special government contracts they were not entitled to receive.

Early this year, he pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including falsifying records and helping others file false documents.

Aside from the prison term, US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith also ordered Villanueva to pay more than $524,000 in restitution, an amount he and his family reportedly received from the fraudulent contracts.

Reports from Virginia showed that Villanueva’s conviction stemmed from his involvement in two Virginia companies – SEK Solutions and Karda Systems.

He served, over the years, as vice president and president of SEK and Karda as a board member. SEK specialized in the sale of weapon and industrial storage products, while Karda was engaged in selling tactical gear.

Villanueva, together with Kahlil Naim of SEK and his brother-in-law Samuel Caragan, worked to misrepresent the two firms as “socially or economically disadvantaged businesses” in order to qualify under the US Small Business Administration program that sets aside government contracts for women- and minority-owned companies. (Roy Mabasa)