Courts & Crime

Kansas company charged with taking contracts earmarked for disabled vets

Federal indictments unsealed Thursday in Kansas charge a Blue Springs family and a Leawood man in an alleged scheme that prosecutors say deprived disabled veterans of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

The defendants got about $6.8 million in construction contracts in 2009 and 2010 that by law were to go to companies owned by disabled veterans, according to court records.

Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas, said at a press conference that Warren K. Parker, 69, of Blue Springs, falsely claimed to be a much decorated Vietnam War veteran when he actually served with the Missouri National Guard and never in Vietnam.

The indictments charge Parker; his wife, Mary Parker, 66; and his son, Michael Parker, 37, with counts that include major program fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud.

Their company, Silver Star Construction, with offices in Blue Springs and Stilwell, is also charged, as is Thomas J. Whitehead, 59, of Leawood. Whitehead owned a construction company that is accused of illegally doing some of the work that Parker and his company obtained, Grissom said.

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