Two companies penalized for false DBE contract work

By Land Line staff | Wednesday, September 09, 2015

A Connecticut man and woman and a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise have been suspended by the Federal Highway Administration in connection with a contract fraud case, according to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. In a similar case in Tennessee, a contractor must repay $400,000 for false claims on DBE work.

Richard Negro, Joslyn F. Chance and JFC Construction’s suspension comes after construction company Manafort Brothers agreed to pay $2.4 million in a civil settlement back in April. Manafort used a DBE subcontractor to receive a federally funded contract on the $40 million Route 72 relocation project in Connecticut.

Companies awarded federal contracts are expected to meet DBE goals established by the Department of Transportation. DBE participation must be reported in federal aid contracts. Although JFC Construction was listed on Manafort’s contract, JFC did not perform the work that was indicated.

In Tennessee, Civil Constructors LLC was found to have submitted false claims for work performed under DBE program while the company was using its former name Civil Constructors Inc. (CCI). Much like the Connecticut case, CCI listed a DBE company as a subcontractor to obtain a federal contract. An investigation found that the work listed for the DBE was actually performed by a non-DBE contractor. False payroll certifications were filed to cover up the scheme.

CCI accepted responsibility for the predecessor's conduct and agreed to pay the U.S. Government $400,000 to resolve the false claims.

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