NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is taking new measures to ensure employers in the construction industry are protecting workers who are injured on the job or need unemployment benefits.
“A restitution hearing for a 2010 fraud case was held Thursday afternoon in Judge Daniel Merritt Jr.’s court.
In April, Robert Contorno, 50, pleaded no contest to charges of organized fraud of less than $20,000 and was sentenced to five years probation. As part of the plea deal, Contorno agreed to pay restitution to multiple victims.
Back in 2009, Contorno’s Click Construction company was hired by four Spring Hill residents to fix sinkholes on their property. A sheriff’s office investigation found the Palm Harbor man relied on a non-certified engineer to prepare sinkhole reports and filed false documents to collect money from insurance and mortgage companies. Contorno hired a certified engineer to sign off on the reports after the fact.”
“Claiming the Fluor Corp.-led team that manages and operates a federal nuclear-waste site in Aiken, S.C., intentionally misled it about the status of design completion on a $90-million plutonium and uranium waste-disposal project under way, Baker Concrete Construction Inc. sued the joint venture on June 6 in U.S. District Court there.
Baker seeks damages of nearly $20 million from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC for costs related to design changes for the facility at the U.S. Energy Dept.’s Savannah River site, says the firm’s attorney.
Alleging multiple instances of fraud in its complaint, Baker says the SRNS joint venture, which was responsible for design, either “knowingly released inadequate and outdated” design documents or “grossly failed to adequately perform the necessary due diligence” related to facility engineering.”
“County commissioners last week decided to start over on finding a private company to oversee part of a massive $1.35 billion overhaul of DeKalb’s water/sewer system. The reason: one of the firms on a list of finalists was named in search warrants served in January as part of the corruption investigation.
It will be August before a new bid is in. That threatens DeKalb’s ability to meet federal deadlines to cut the number of sewer spills — delays that may drive up the overall price tag for the work and the rates that are paying for it.
“We shouldn’t have to pay more because of (the investigation),” said Matthew Asamagor, a contractor who has lived in DeKalb for 30 years. “I can’t believe they would do that.”
Commissioners said they were concerned that MWH Americas earned top rankings for the management contract.
The Colorado-based company was not the staff recommendation for the work, despite a top score for technical expertise. DeKalb Water Partners got the nod as the lowest bidder at $15 million.
MWH was one of six companies identified by name in search warrants looking for evidence of bid-rigging, bribery and fraud at the homes and offices of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and his former campaign manager, Kevin Ross.
Commissioners had to keep that in mind when considering that the winning firm would oversee $800 million of public money being spent on sewer work, Commission Presiding Officer Lee May said.”
“Federal investigators are reportedly trying to locate the source of a fraudulent surety bond provided to a small Maryland prime contractor for its work in St. Mary’s County on a museum and visitor’s center at the Patuxent Naval Air Base in southern Maryland. The county has taken steps to terminate the contractor, whose attorneys say they are trying to prevent termination because their client has been the victim of a fraud and has lost $175,000 in premium that was paid.
The surety bond covered the contractor’s work on the $4.7-million building project, which broke ground with an opening ceremony in October but is now stalled.
St. Mary’s County ordered the contractor, Baltimore-based Broughton Construction Co., to stop work December 7.
The stalled project recently came to public attention when the prime contractor was unable to satisfy the county with a replacement surety bond.”
“She’s a former model and a single mother who had successfully started a construction and design business from scratch. Within a few years she was landing jobs with some of the biggest companies in Central Florida.
The truth is, Tina Louise Mangiardi, the one-time President of TLM Design and Construction, Inc. could be spending years in federal prison.
Mangiardi pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and wire fraud in a plea arrangement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida.
The agreement details a $2.5 to $7 million Ponzi scheme that took place from 2009 through 2012 throughout Central Florida.
Local 6 has also been in contact with several victims who invested in Mangiardi’s scheme within the last few months.
In total, federal investigators said they have heard from at least 40 victims of the scheme who were sold on the pitch that she needed bid-bond money to secure projects with Disney, Darden and most recently Florida Hospital.”
“A Chicago-area contractor has been charged with allegedly running a kickback scheme that defrauded several suburban municipalities of more than $400,000 for public works projects.
A statement from the Illinois attorney general’s offices says Alan Harris was charged Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court with theft of government property and mail fraud.
The 46-year-old Niles man is accused of illegally obtaining construction contracts in 2010 and 2011. And the attorney general’s office alleges he forced employees to kickback money form their monthly paychecks.”
“The president of a Pennsylvania environmental company was charged this week with two counts of wire fraud for failing to disclose information about a government contract to demolish a building at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, according to federal court records.
Michael Fullard of Fullard Environmental Controls in Ford City, Pa., was indicted Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for allegedly attempting to defraud the Department of the Navy during negotiations in 2006 and 2007, according to the indictment. He failed to disclose his company’s profit margins and a deal he had cut with a subcontractor on the $2.2 million demolition job, court records say.
The indictment said Fullard agreed to pay a Pennsylvania subcontractor about $800,000 to do the bulk of the work but told Navy officials the demolition would be performed by his company and its employees. He “knew such representation was false and fraudulent when made,” the indictment says.
Fullard’s company earned the contract through a Small Business Administration program that sets aside certain federal contracts for minority-owned businesses, the indictment said. The program requires the businesses to disclose their subcontractors and profit margins, which Fullard allegedly never did when negotiating with the Navy over the cost to demolish the building, which was identified in the indictment only as “Building 7.”
“A subcontractor on the troubled Interstate 287 construction project is in negotiations with federal prosecutors to plead guilty in connection with fraud on the $568 million highway reconstruction, Newsday has learned.
Yona Jimenez, 57, of Roslyn, Long Island, was indicted in October on charges that she lied about claims that her company, Global Marine Construction Supply, provided $6 million worth of steel for the project from 2006 to 2009.
Federal prosecutors said Jimenez, whose business is a certified minority-owned company under the government’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises program, was acting as a front for a nonminority business that actually provided the steel. She profited about $60,000 from the fraud, according to her attorney, Timothy Parlatore.”
“Construction Service Corporation Inc., was sentenced Wednesday in Boise federal court to three years of probation and fined $65,000 for fraud related to government contracting, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
On March 28, Lisa Hatch, the sole shareholder and director of Construction Service Corporation Inc., entered a guilty plea on behalf of the corporation to defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a $274,283 contract for roofing work to be performed at a research facility in Corvallis, Ore. The contract was awarded to the company on the basis that it was an eligible HUBZone entity, when in fact it was not, according to court documents.”