A Virginia-based company in which President Trump’s brother has a financial stake, was reportedly awarded a $33 million government contract earlier this year, but the deal was given a total “stop work order” after several allegations were raised with federal watchdogs, according to The Washington Post.
The newspaper reports that the firm CertiPath received the lucrative multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
CertiPath is partially owned by a firm tied to the president’s younger brother Robert S. Trump, according to the Post.
A rival bidder anonymously filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General following the award, accusing CertiPath of failing to disclose that “one of the President’s closest living relatives stood to benefit financially from the transaction,” the report states.
“The circumstances of this contract award, and what appear to be CertiPath’s efforts to obscure Mr. Robert Trump’s financial interest in the company even as it trades on the Trump name, present the appearance of preferential treatment for those who are close to the President,” the complaint reportedly said.
Jeff Nigriny, the president and founder of CertiPath, told the Post in a statement that Robert Trump “is one investor in an entity which holds a minority interest in Certipath.”
“[Robert Trump] is exclusively a passive investor, has no management role whatsoever, is not an officer or director, and his name has never been used or mentioned by Certipath in any solicitation for a government contract, whether state or federal,” Nigriny added.
The newspaper also reported that a company called NMR Consulting complained about the matter to the Government Accountability Office in July.
NMR’s bid protest resulted in a “stop work order” on the contract, USMS spokesman Drew Wade told the newspaper.
“There’s no money being spent with CertiPath until this issue is resolved,” he said.
The Hill reports:
The spokesman also said that USMS was not aware of the accusation that a relative of the president had a financial stake in the company.
Robert Trump’s link to CertiPath is through an investment partnership between him and CertiPath’s chief executive, Shawn Hughes, called SHiRT LLC, the Post reported.
CertiPath was reportedly acquired by two entities, one of which was SHiRT LLC, in 2013.