Feds investigating Goodwill government contracts

Federal agents raided Memphis Goodwill offices near Bartlett, apparently as part of an investigation into government contracts the nonprofit group has for employment of the poor or disabled.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office won’t comment on the “ongoing investigation,” reports the Commercial Appeal, but Goodwill president and CEO Tony Martini issued a statement Thursday.

“We had been in regular contact with the commission who oversees these agreements about questions they had on certain elements of contract requirements,” Martini said in the statement. “On our end, we’ve worked tirelessly to address their concerns and get things right-tracked, and we’ll continue to do so. So while this particular issue was one we had become aware of, the manner of yesterday’s visit definitely was a surprise.

“We will keep working alongside everyone involved to ensure we reach a timely resolution so that we may focus on our mission of job creation and support for those with barriers to employment.”

While officers were at Goodwill headquarters Wednesday, attorneys for the nonprofit reached an out-of-court settlement with a fired vice president who alleged fraud with one of the nonprofit organization’s contracts. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Martini said the settlement and the investigation are unrelated.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit Thomas Murach filed against Goodwill in July 2014 after he says he was wrongfully terminated after he alerted the CEO and a board member to possibly fraudulent activities with a $3.5 million cleaning contract that Goodwill had to provide cleaning services for the Internal Revenue Service offices in Memphis.