Fake Indians Rake in Millions in Contracts7/4/201933 Comments​In a bombshell report, the LA Times revealed that white men in almost every state have been falsely identifying as Native American or paying Black people to serve as the “front” so they could make hundreds of millions through government contracts.Government agencies in almost every state in the US are reeling after the LA Times dropped a huge story detailing how white men in almost every state have been awarded million-dollar contracts from programs designed to promote minority-owned businesses.

William Wages claims to be 1/8 Cherokee

Through these tactics, companies have been able to rake in more than $300 million. Moreover, the LA Times admitted that that figure is “almost certainly significantly higher than $300 million.”

While the LA Times report primarily focuses on white men who had either dubious claims to Native American heritage or claims to be part of a tribe that is not officially recognized, other news outlets have reported on “fronting” schemes where white men used a minority figurehead to secure millions in grants.

​Regardless of which method they used, these schemes were extraordinarily lucrative and in many cases were tied to corrupt government officials. 

The brother-in-law of Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, William Wages, said he was one-eighth Cherokee. However, the LA Times looked through genealogy records and found that all his relatives were white dating back to 1850. 

Wages claims to be part of the Northern Cherokee Nation, which is not a real group. He made more than $7 million through his company. However, once the LA Times report came out, his company refused to re-certify under California’s minority business program. 

​​Since the LA Times story came out, municipal and state governments have started revoking the contracts of companies that were owned by white men posing as Native Americans or fronted by someone from a non-white race.
William Wages claims to be 1/8 CherokeeRebecca Nagle, a Cherokee Nation community organizer, told the LA Times that the scams were damaging on multiple levels. They kept actual minority-owned businesses from accessing vital funds and contracts that kept them afloat while giving their white competitors a sizable advantage through lucrative no-bid deals.

“It’s taking those resources not just from our community, but from all communities of color,” she said.

“It’s really problematic.”