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TriMark USA Releases Statement to Customers Regarding DOJ Settlement

Days after agreeing to pay $48.5 million in resolve allegations that subsidiaries TriMark Gill Marketing and Gill Group Inc. improperly manipulated federal small business set-aside contracts, TriMark USA released a statement to its customers.

As noted in the settlement agreement and announcement, TriMark acknowledged its cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and said the company had also implemented enhanced control procedures. The statement went on to add: “Gill Marketing represents approximately 2% to 3% of TriMark’s overall business. The amount to be paid to resolve this matter is consistent with the reserve we took in 2021 … With this settlement agreement in place, we are well-positioned to move forward in pursuit of our goals and priorities for the year ahead and to support our customers’ success and sustainability. We are investing for the future, and we have come out of the gate very strong in 2022, with tremendous strength and backlog and we anticipate a very successful year.”

The Massachusetts-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealer posted the statement on its website.

Federal government contracts may be reserved, or set aside, for various categories of small businesses, such that only eligible small businesses in a particular socioeconomic category are able to bid on, receive, and perform the contracts. TriMark provides foodservice equipment to government customers around the world, including in the Northern District of New York and the Eastern District of Washington, two areas where these allegations were first brought forward. As part of the settlement agreement, TriMark and former executive Kimberly Gill Rimsza admitted to and accepted responsibility for their conduct in connection with set-aside contracts that, because of their actions, resulted in federal agencies improperly awarding government set-aside contracts between 2011 and 2021 to three small businesses with which TriMark worked. Rimsza agreed to pay a $100,000 fine, too.

The original release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of New York is available here.

In 2020, TriMark USA reported annual revenues of $1.45 billion, making it the country’s second-largest foodservice equipment and supplies dealer, per FE&S 2021 Distribution Giants study. FE&S will update this study in April 2022.