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Niagara Falls man admits cheating HUD with fake contract bids

A former employee of Niagara Falls contractor John J. Gross Jr. admitted Friday to taking part in a scheme to cheat the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

Walter Henrich Weiss pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara and, as a part of his plea deal, acknowledged using blank letterhead from Gross’ competitors to submit fake contract bids to HUD.

Defense lawyer Joseph M. LaTona said his client “accepted full responsibility for his misconduct while an employee of Gross Contracting."

Gross, a well known Falls contractor, was sentenced in 2012 to 33 months in prison for mail fraud and tax evasion.

Weiss’ conviction was the result of an investigation by the FBI and IRS and a prosecution by First Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy.