MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment Friday that will deny the discharge of an $882,000 debt owed to the state for alleged overcharges made by a consulting firm.
Buveck Consultants LLC and Thomas Burse, the company's owner, allegedly overbilled the Wisconsin Department of Transportation $1.3 million through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. Burse also allegedly lied to get certification in the program. He allegedly claimed to have three college degrees despite possessing none.
The DOT discovered the alleged deceptions, disbarred Buveck Consultants from participation in DOT contracts and offset $500,000 in pending claims by Buveck Consultants against the $1.3 million owed.
In November 2011, Burse filed bankruptcy for himself and his company in an effort to discharge the $882,000 balance. The DOT argued Burse shouldn't be able to discharge the debt because it was allegedly incurred by fraud.
The bankruptcy court upheld the DOT's objection to Burse's discharge, despite the fact that all of the fraud was committed through the LLC. The court awarded judgment against Burse for $882,000, providing that prime contractors compelled to pay any part of the claim have the right to collect from Burse as part of the state's judgment.