Two business competitors have filed complaints about a $33 million federal contract awarded to a company in which Donald Trump’s brother is an investor, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The contract was awarded earlier this year by the U.S. Marshals Service to CertiPath to provide security for federal courthouses and cellblocks. The company, based in Ralston, Virginia, has been partly owned since 2013 by a company in which the president’s younger brother, Robert Trump, is a stakeholder, according to the Post.

After the award, an anonymous competitor filed a complaint with the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, according to a July letter obtained by the Post. It claimed that CertiPath had failed to disclose that “one of the president’s closest living relatives stood to benefit financially from the transaction.”

Robert Trump’s “financial interest in the company even as it trades on the Trump name present the appearance of preferential treatment for those who are close to the president,” the letter states, according to the Post.

NMR Consulting also filed an unrelated protest about the bid with the Government Accountability Office in July, the Post reported.

The information emerges just over a week after the Trump administration announced — then rescinded — a decision to host the Group of Seven summit next year at the president’s own golf resort in Doral, Florida. The decision to host world leaders for the international event at a location that would directly benefit the president triggered harsh criticism and raised concerns about how such decisions are made and contracts awarded in the Trump administration.

CertiPath’s president and founder, Jeff Nigriny, said in a statement to the Post that that Robert Trump “is one investor in an entity which holds a minority interest in Certipath.” Trump is a “passive investor, has no management role whatsoever, is not an officer or director, and his name has never been used or mentioned by Certipath in any solicitation for a government contract,” the statement added.

CertiPath has been paid more than $6 million in government contracts since Donald Trump has been in office, according to the Post, citing federal data.

No money has yet been paid to CertiPath for the latest contract. The bid protest by NMR Consulting resulted in a “stop work order” on the contract, Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade told the Post.

Wade did not reveal what the complaint concerns, but said it “has nothing to do with the president or his relationships.” He also said the Marshals Service had been unaware that a Trump relative was linked to CertiPath.

Robert Trump could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read the full Washington Post report here.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

 

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