Sheyenne Leona Contreras, age 30, who is the president of H&S Drywall Inc, was arrested in Lake County Florida on an Okaloosa County warrant. The warrant alleges that Contreras violated FS 817.568(2)(c) and 817.568(9) while under a subcontract to the US Army Corps of Engineers on the construction of the 7th Special Forces Complex at Eglin AFB. During the ongoing investigation, it was shown that H&S Drywall obtained over $900,000 in payments by submitting payroll invoices and records using stolen and counterfeit Social Security Numbers. So far, over 30 such Social Security Numbers appearing on H&S Drywall payroll records have been shown to be false. Florida Statute specifies a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years for persons convicted of obtaining over $100,000 while using the personal identifying information of others without permission.
Mrs. Contreras is a US Citizen, married to Victor Hugo Contereras-Suarez. Victor Contreras-Suarez is listed as the vice president of H&S Drywall, and is in the United States illegally. Contreras-Suarez is currently in the Okaloosa County Jail on related felony charges and is under a detainer by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He and two of his employees, also currently under ICE detainers, were arrested by the Sheriff's Office on Dec 15, 2010 for their part in the fraud.
During the time Mrs. Contreras was president of H&S Drywall, she was also the Assistant City Clerk of Edgewood, Florida near Orlando. The investigation revealed she had contract payment checks sent to both her home and the Edgewood City Hall.
The investigation revealed that Mrs. Contreras signed an affidavit of compliance with provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act when she applied for the subcontract, and later prepared, certified, and submitted weekly payroll records to obtain payments from May thru December 2010. These payroll documents contained false Social Security Numbers. The warrant alleges that Mrs. Contreras knowingly submitted the false information.
With several months of payroll records still to be examined, investigators have so far found over 110 names that used falsified identifying information on H&S Drywall records "certified" by Sheyenne Contreras.
Ms. Contreras posted a $10,000 bond and has been released pending a court appearance.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Edgewood Police Department coordinated activities during the ongoing investigation.
Additional arrests or warrants are expected as new evidence is uncovered during the investigation.