For the second time in as many months, a senior IRS manager on Wednesday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, fueling perceptions of an agency in crisis.
Greg Roseman, a Deputy IRS Director, spearheaded the awarding of the IRS’s largest contract in history to a company owned by a close friend of his, an action that is prohibited under government contracting regulations.
The company is Strong Castle, Inc., owned by Braulio Castillo. Castillo won several contracts totaling almost $500 million for IRS IT services in part on the basis of his friendship with Roseman and by qualifying for two minority programs that allow disadvantaged applicants a better chance of winning lucrative government contracts.
Castillo qualified for one minority set-aside program by setting up his business in a disadvantaged area of northeast Washington D.C. The Small Business Administration program requires applicants to hire from within the economically disadvantaged community, but a House Oversight Committee report found that Castillo manipulated that requirement by hiring students from Catholic University. The school’s campus lies within the designated boundary, but its students are, on balance, far from disadvantaged.
He won entrance into another minority set-aside program run by the Veterans Administration that gives disabled vets certain advantages in federal contracting. His disability? An ankle twisted during football at the US Military Academy Prep School 27 years ago.