A grand jury was recently convened regarding an investigation into contractors working for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The information presented to it convinced the jury to recommend the filing of a fraud charge against the president of an engineering company here in the state. Allegedly, he made $1 million in profits from PennDOT contracts that supposedly were not obtained legally and/or properly.
Investigators claim that the company’s president befriended an Assistant District Engineer (ADE) from PennDOT District 6 who is said to have wielded a great deal of control over who received the inspection contracts pursued by the man now accused of fraud. It is claimed that a third party, who was a personal friend of the ADE, acted as an intermediary between the two. The ADE allegedly received approximately $130,000 in payments for his part.
In addition, the company president is also accused of employing people that are known to be associates to PennDOT supervisors and the ADE. Allegedly, some of the employees hired under these circumstances were not qualified for the positions they were given. Further, at the request of these same people, some company employees lost their jobs.
Before a conviction on the fraud charge can be secured, Pennsylvania prosecutors must prove his guilt to the court beyond a reasonable doubt. The man accused of these activities could face significant penalties if it is determined that he is guilty. He and his criminal defense team will likely review the evidence that the prosecution intends to offer at trial in support of the charges in order to prepare for negotiations with prosecutors for a possible plea agreement and/or to prepare a defense to the charges on the merits.
Source: fox43.com, “PennDOT contractor earned more than $1 million through alleged fraud, bid rigging scheme“, Paul Smith, April 16, 2015