NYC sues Colo. military consulting firm over $5M in pandemic mask money

No masks, no money! 

A “military and security consulting” firm that never delivered on its promise to ship COVID masks to New York at the peak of the pandemic is being sued by the city to pay back the flubbed $15 million contract. 

The Colorado-based firm is so desperate to hold on to the partially prepaid contract cash, it even changed its business name – just days after a ruling against them last September – in an attempt to defraud the city and hide their assets, the suit contents.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration inked a $15 million contract with the consulting and logistics firm – then calling itself Siege International – on April 3, 2020, during the dark days of the pandemic when COVID-19 was killing thousands.

The agreement was for the company to deliver five million N95 respirator masks by May 1, and half of the contract — roughly $7.5 million — was prepaid to help expedite the badly-needed supplies for first responders and medical workers.

But Siege missed its first contractual deadline for the first one million. And then the next one for the full five million, too, the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit charges.

Only 800,000 masks ever made it to the Big Apple, leaving nearly 1.7 million masks paid for but missing in action, according to the court documents.

But Siege has repeatedly refused to return the taxpayer money back to the East Coast.

The contract was for 5 million masks during the peak of the early pandemic outbreak. REUTERS

The city even offered to avoid legal pursuits and to simply terminate the failed contract in July 2020, if the firm, which boasts “asset protection” as a service on its website, would just return the money paid for the masks that were never delivered – a total of $5,112,337.20 in taxpayer dollars.

“Siege International declined this offer,” the suit reads.

“We will hold contractors accountable whenever they take millions in taxpayer dollars but fail to deliver as per their agreements,” said a City Law Department spokesperson in a statement Wednesday.

“The City’s Contract Dispute Resolution Board determined that Siege International breached its agreement to deliver millions of N95 masks to the City during the height of the pandemic. Now it’s time for Siege to pay what it owes the City.”

Siege claims to be a so-called “military and security firm,” whose past, and present, websites boast “Bourne Identity” style videos of military operators jumping out of helicopters and flying through the tundra on white snowmobiles.

A tactical sizzle reel on Siege International’s current site promises “what you see here can be delivered in person.” Canam Group

“Consulting, training, operations and more,” their current website promises underneath a tactical sizzle reel, “what you see here can be delivered in person.”

Siege’s president, David Oskirko, is also named in the suit. He told the New York Times in December 2020 that if he were to refund the city, it would destroy his company. 

He has since tried to fight the city’s efforts to get their money back, filing at least three petitions and other legal efforts in order to keep $5 million of taxpayer dollars, according to court papers.

Siege International changed their name to evade their owed refund, according to court papers.

After the city’s Contract Dispute Resolution Board determined that Siege and Oskirko must refund the city for the undelivered, prepaid masks in September, the company – like the millions of promised masks – suddenly vanished.

But their tradecraft couldn’t trick the city’s law department – or the dogged and mysterious Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Days later, Oskirko and Siege re-emerged as Canam Group, replete with a new website filled with similar copy and the same videos featured on Siege’s pages. According to the city, this was a clear attempt at a “fraudulent transfer.”

“Siege International and/or its employees and/or officers attempted to hide the assets formerly in the possession of Siege International by changing the registered name of Siege to Canam Group,” the suit reads. “Siege International was aware that it would not be able to pay the amount it owes the City prior to initiating transfers of assets to Canam Group and/or Siege and/or David Oskirko”

The City is also seeking statutory interest in addition to the overdue $5 million refund.

The Post reached out to Oskirko and Canam Group for comment, but did not hear back.

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