Shrewsbury company to pay $7.6M to feds over claim owner was disabled veteran

NEWARK - A Shrewsbury company has agreed to pay $7.6 million for obtaining federal contracts that were supposed to go to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Tuesday.

VE Source LLC — its owners, Sherman Barton and Chris Neary — and a related company called Vertical Source Inc., had all been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in October 2020.

The original complaint had accused the company and its owners of falsely claiming to be eligible for more than $16.5 million in government contracts.

The Justice Department also entered into a separate settlement agreement with Neary, Barton, and Vertical Source, under which Neary will pay $120,000, Barton will pay $75,000, and Vertical Source will pay $180,000 to resolve claims made in a civil lawsuit filed by the United States under the False Claims Act, according to the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The complaint had alleged that VE Source obtained contracts to deliver fire-retardant coveralls for the U.S. Navy, as well as aprons and apron strings to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contracts were eligible to be awarded only to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses under previous congressional authorization.

“The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability,” the statement said.

Contact Asbury Park Press reporter Erik Larsen at

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Shrewsbury NJ company to pay over claim owner was disabled veteran