The owners of a Kansas City area construction company have pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to obtain government contracts by falsely claiming a veteran ran their company.

Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Jeffrey Wilson, of Belton, pleaded guilty Wednesday to government program fraud. And 57-year-old Paul Salavitch, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a false writing, a misdemeanor.

Wilson, who is not a veteran, managed the daily operations of the Patriot Construction Co. Salavitch, a disabled veteran, falsely claimed to participating in the company's activities when he was a full-time U.S. Department of Defense employee.

Because of Salavitch is a disabled veteran, Patriot fraudulently won 20 government contracts worth more than $13.8 million.

The two men will have to forfeit about $2.1 million.

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