Former NCDOT engineer convicted of bid-rigging

Former NCDOT engineer convicted of bid-rigging

Yesterday in New Bern, North Carolina, a former Contech Engineered Solutions LLC (Contech) executive who participated in bid-rigging and fraud schemes against the North Carolina Department of Transportation was given an 18-month jail term (NCDOT).

Brent Brewbaker, a former Contech executive, was found guilty by a jury in January following a week-long trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for conspiring to rig bids and provide false certifications of non-collusion for more than 300 aluminium structure projects funded by the state of North Carolina between 2009 and 2018.

Evidence established that Brewbaker gave a co-conspirator instructions to provide NCDOT with non-competitive bids while concealing his bid-rigging and fraud by changing the number of inflated bids submitted.

He also told a fellow conspirator that he would delete texts he received regarding the scheme in order to conceal his involvement in unlawful activity.

According to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, “Today’s punishment underscores the severity of actions that pervert the competitive process, target state and local governments, and ultimately cost taxpayers money.”

When CEOs decide to cheat rather than compete, the division and its Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) allies are dedicated to holding them responsible.

Executive Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General said, “The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, together with our other federal law enforcement partners, achieved a win today in our battle against bid-rigging and collusion” (USPS-OIG).

The USPS-OIG continues to call for the public’s help in identifying and reporting people participating in this sort of conduct. “The USPS-OIG will rigorously investigate those who would participate in detrimental anticompetitive actions,” it says.

According to Special Agent in Charge Craig Miles of the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (DOT-OIG) Mid-Atlantic Region, “Violations of the nation’s antitrust laws will be taken seriously, and those who evade federal bidding and contract regulations will be held accountable.”

The message is quite clear: We will go after and look into anybody who undermines the integrity of the procurement process for business or personal advantage.

Brewbaker was found guilty of three charges of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, three counts of conspiring to rig bids, and one count of conspiring to conduct mail and wire fraud. Brewbaker was also had to pay a $600 special fee in addition to a criminal fine of $111,000.

Contech earlier entered a guilty plea to two counts: one of bid rigging in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act and another of conspiracy to conduct mail and wire fraud. Contech consented to pay criminal penalties of $7 million as well as $1,533,988 in restitution to NCDOT.

The USPS-OIG and the DOT-OIG assisted in the investigation of this case, which was prosecuted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section.

Throughout the investigation and the trial, assistance was also given by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Procurement Collusion Strike Force was established by the Justice Department in November 2019 as a collaborative law enforcement initiative to combat antitrust crimes and associated fraudulent schemes that affect grant and programme funding at all levels of government, including federal, state, and local. Visit https://www.justice.gov/procurement-collusion-strike-force to get in touch with the Procurement Collusion Strike Force or to submit information about market allocation, price fixing, bid rigging, or other anticompetitive behaviour connected to federal, state, or local transportation projects.

»Former NCDOT engineer convicted of bid-rigging«

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