A Neosho man is found not guilty on federal charges related to defrauding the U.S. Government out of $3 million after the 2011 tornado.
Raul Gonzales, 49, faced 10 charges related to the crime. Gonzales owned Intelligent Investments Incorporated, which was hired to remove tornado debris after the storm. The company was required to be a service-disabled, veteran-owned business in order to do the work.
Prosecutors said a second company partnered with Intelligent Investments, and allegedly did most of the work on the project, splitting profits with Gonzales. Because this second company was not veteran-owned, the partnership is considered fraudulent.
The indictment charges Gonzales with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., three counts of making a false claim, three counts of disaster fraud, and three counts of making and using false documents.
On Friday a federal jury came back with a not guilty verdict. That’s after his attorney’s argued that since the government shortened the length of the original six month contract to four and a half weeks, Gozales had to rely on subcontractors to complete the project — and that his employees did 40% of the work.