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Sponsored by Lorman Education
Product ID: 408691EAU
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Understanding DBE Laws and Regulations

OnDemand Webinar (62 minutes)

Understand the requirements of DBE programs and lessen the risk of becoming the subject or target of a DBE fraud investigation.Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs are found at every level of government contracting, whether it is federal, state, or local. For prime contractors, identifying DBE subcontractors who can perform a substantial portion of a government contract can be the key to winning the contract. At the same time, relationships between prime contractors and DBEs, whether they are service or labor subcontractors or suppliers, can be fraught with risk. For over a decade, federal, state, and local governments have been cracking down on disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) fraud. Investigators are on the lookout for DBEs that are shams or pass-throughs because they are incapable of performing, or simply did not perform, the work they subcontracted it to perform. All too often, prime contractors, faced with pressure to allocate a portion of a contract to a DBE, either unwittingly or sometimes knowingly, contract with DBEs who add no value, but are instead merely lending their name in exchange for a small percentage of the contract value. This information will help companies who do business with DBE's understand the requirements of DBE programs. Learn what it means for a DBE to perform a commercially useful function and how to identify fraudulent DBE relationships. This material will address how companies can lessen the risk of becoming the subject or target of a DBE fraud investigation and offers practical advice on how companies can do business with DBEs while complying with the law. This topic is critical for companies who are participating in DBE contracts in this heightened enforcement environment.


Kristin H. Jones, Esq., Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
Michael A. Schwartz, Esq., Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP


Background of DBE Programs

• Historical Context

• Common Elements Among Federal, State and Local DBE Programs

• Roles DBEs Can Performing in the Contracting Chain

• The DBE Pass-Through Problem

What Must a DBE Do to Perform a Commercially Useful Function?

• Ways in Which DBE Subcontractors Add Value

• Ways in Which DBE Suppliers Add Value

• Red Flags

Enforcement Trends

• Federal Investigations of DBE Fraud

- Examples of Federal Criminal Cases

- Examples of Federal Civil Cases

• State and Local Investigations of DBE Fraud

- Examples of State and Local Criminal Cases

- Examples of State and Local Civil Cases

Common Misconceptions About DBE Fraud

• Certification Versus Commercially Useful Function

• Knowledge Versus Willful Blindness

• Mentor-Protégé Relationships

How Companies Can Do Business With DBEs and Comply With the Law

• Due Diligence

• Compliance Programs

• Training