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FBI, agencies investigate New Berlin contractor for fraud

NEW BERLIN, WI (WTAQ) - The FBI and other federal agencies are reportedly investigating a suburban Milwaukee contractor.  

The Journal Sentinel dug up an affidavit for a search warrant, which suspected that Watry Homes of New Berlin filed false wage claims to the government for a public housing renovation.  

The investigation comes after a federal report showing that the Milwaukee Housing Authority did not follow federal rules for hiring low-income workers for the project. It's an $82 million renovation at Westlawn, the state's largest public housing facility.  

In the first phase, over 330 public housing units are being torn down -- and 250 new affordable units are being put in their place.  

According to the Journal Sentinel, the affidavit quoted a roofer who said Watry Homes and its owner fabricated employee identities to show it was paying higher wages, while actually using other workers who got paid much less.  

The paper said the lower paid workers never complained because they were afraid of being fired.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)