A well-known Tri-Cities entrepreneur is accused of failing to pay nearly $450,000 to a subcontractor after receiving federal money for the work at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
Kris Lapp and his company i3 Global received the federal funds from Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance for work it had subcontracted to another small company, Integrated Global Staffing, according to court documents. The lawsuit was filed Friday by Integrated Global in Benton County Superior Court.
“... Kristopher Lapp fraudulently spent, misappropriated, and/or diverted money received from i3 Global’s general contractor, MSA, for his own personal benefit rather than on Integrated Global invoices,” according to the suit.
The Department of Energy pays contractors such as Mission Support Alliance (MSA) for work at Hanford, and contractors are required to subcontract out some of the work to small businesses. In this case, one small business apparently then subcontracted its Hanford work to another small business.
Integrated Global Staffing filled certain staff positions on behalf of i3 Global at Mission Support Alliance.
I3 Global is accused of failing to pay seven invoices received from Integrated Global from August 2018 to January 2019 totaling $446,618 for Mission Support Alliance work.
Some i3 Global employees reported that they did not receive paychecks on April 12 and that they were told they were being laid off.
I3 Global had about a dozen employees at the time, not including its other staffing contracts.
Mission Support Alliance said i3 Global was doing graphics work for it and that it had found suppliers for work that i3 Global indicated it would not be able to finish.
People doing work under i3 Global contracts were transitioned to other employers, said Mission Support Alliance.
Lapp also is listed in Washington state documents as a one of five owners of Solar Spirits of Richland. Solar Spirits is not named in the lawsuit.
Tri-Cities community involvement
He also is known as “#lappdaddyapproved” on a Facebook page, where he posts about the food at Tri-Cities and other eateries. He posted a month ago that he had signed on to partner with the Pasco Taco Crawl 2019 fundraiser.
Last year, his company also was responsible for the social media management, photography, videography and artwork for the Water Follies hydroplane races.
I3 Global was formed in 2013 to provide information technology, staffing and creative and media services to federal and commercial clients, says its website.
In 2017, i3 Global was recognized by the Department of Energy Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization as the 2016 Protege of the Year. The mentor-protege program encourages large DOE contractors to help small disadvantaged businesses.
“Due to the success of the mentor-protege program, i3 Global has grown from five employees to more than 40 employees in less than a year,” DOE said in 2017.
“Our company is on a mission to showcase the positive aspects of the work being done at Hanford and the tremendous amount of tech talent in our great community,” Lapp said at the time.
Lapp did not return several messages from the Herald at his Kennewick office.
A trial date for the lawsuit is set for April 2020.