BOISE -- An Idaho roofing contractor has pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal program designed to help struggling small businesses.
The U.S. attorney's office says 62-year-old Patrick J. Large of Meridian pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of wire fraud. He also agreed to forfeit $150,000. Sentencing is set for Jan. 8.
Prosecutors alleged Large helped created another company -- McDonald Roofing and Construction -- and said its principal place of business was in Emmett, where Lodge has a farm. Emmett falls within an area the Small Business Administration identifies as an historically underutilized business zone. Businesses in HUB zones are eligible for preferences in the awarding of federal contracts.
Prosecutors allege Large lied about the location of the principal office.
McDonald Roofing received a $218,000 contract for seismic mitigation at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.