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City: Aramark, Strother to pay $400,000 in settlement of minority-participation suit

An arm of the food-services giant Aramark and a local minority-business organization will pay the city a total of $400,000 to settle a suit that claimed the companies fudged their numbers to skirt minority-participation requirements in a Philadelphia Prison System contract, the city announced Thursday.

Aramark Correctional Services provides three meals a day to prisoners in Philadelphia, but it is required to subcontract out 20 to 25 percent of the work to businesses owned by minorities, women or disabled persons.

The suit, which arose from a city Inspector General report, alleged that Aramark and Strother Enterprises, a minority business group in Philadelphia, employed a circular payment scheme to overstate how much of the business Strother was doing.

The no-fault settlement also requires both companies to update their compliance standards.