A company with ties to US President Donald Trump’s brother has been awarded a USD 33 million government contract earlier this year and two business competitors have filed a complaint alleging potential favoritism in the bidding process, reported The Washington Post. The contract was given earlier this year by the US Marshals Service to CertiPath, the company based on Ralston, Virginia, to provide security for federal cellblocks and courthouses. CertiPath is partly owned since 2013 by a firm in which Robert Trump, younger brother of Donald Trump, is a stakeholder, the report claimed. An anonymous competitor filed a complaint with the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General after the contract was awarded to CertiPath.
The rival bidder in his complaint claimed that CertiPath failed to disclose the fact that the transaction will financially benefit one of the US President’s closest living relatives. According to a copy of the July 22 complaint letter, the circumstances in which the contract was awarded look like preferential treatment was given to those who are close to the US president. The complaint letter was signed by the Washington law firm Venable lawyer Dismas N Locaria. However, he declined to disclose the name of his client.
The development comes just over a week after the Trump administration announced that it has decided to host the Group of Seven summit at Trump’s own golf resort in Doral, Florida. However, it was rescinded after it drew sharp criticism for the way contracts are awarded in the Trump administration. Meanwhile, Jeff Nigriny – the president and founder of CertiPath, said in a statement that Trump’s brother “is one investor in an entity which holds a marginal interest in Certipath”. Nigriny emphasised that his name was never mentioned or used by the company for obtaining a government contract, whether state or federal.” According to the Post, the contract has been awarded to the company but no has been paid so far. “There’s no money being spent with the company until this issue is resolved,” Drew Wade, a spokesman for the US Marshals Service, said