Federal grand jury indicts six in Big Dig concrete scheme

| Friday, May 05, 2006

Trouble with Boston’s infamous “Big Dig” project continued as a federal grand jury indicted six people employed by an asphalt and concrete supplier for the project.

Six managers of Aggregate Industries NE Inc., the largest asphalt and concrete supply company in the New England region, were indicted on charges of conspiring to defraud by generating and submitting false records to the Central Artery Tunnel Project, commonly called the “Big Dig,” and mailing fraudulent invoices to general contractors.

The 135-count indictment alleges that the defendants recycled concrete not used by other customers. The defendants allegedly mixed the leftover concrete with Big Dig project concrete and delivered it to the project, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan from Massachusetts.

The leftover loads of mixed concrete were dubbed “10-9 loads” by the defendants, and did not meet Big Dig project specifications. Specs required the concrete to be placed or poured within 90 minutes of batching. Allegedly, in most instances involving these “10-9 loads,” the concrete had exceeded the time limit, according to the release.

In order to conceal the true age of the concrete, the defendants allegedly told company employees to add water and other ingredients, to those loads to make them look like they were fresh, according to the release.

The defendants allegedly concealed this by falsifying concrete batch slips delivered to inspectors, according to the release. Batch reports are relied on to determine the quality and amount of concrete placed by the general contractors.

If convicted, the defendants face penalties ranging from three years probation on some counts to 20 years in prison for other. That is in addition to fines that could reach more than $10,000 collectively.