If you are a prime contractor working on federally-funded transportation projects, beware of fraud involving the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program. A recently exposed “pass-through” scheme involving $27 million in federally-funded contracts scheme was engineered together by subcontractor Century Steel Erectors Co., and WMCC, Inc., a certified DBE.
In my post from yesterday, found here, I reported on the DBE “pass-through” fraud scheme engineered by Carl M. Weber Steel Service, Inc., and Karen Construction, Inc.
On January 11, 2016, Dennis and Dale Weber, the owners of Weber Steel, were each sentenced to six months’ home confinement and five years’ probation, and Weber Steel was placed on three years’ probation. All three were also ordered to jointly pay $1 million in restitution to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
On February 3, 2016, Judy Noll, the owner of Karen, was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to separately pay $336,219 in restitution to FHWA.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General press release on the sentencing can be found here.
Still another “pass-through” fraud scheme involving the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program has been exposed, with criminal penalties for all involved.
On October 8, 2015, Dennis Weber, Dale Weber, Carl M. Weber Steel Service, Inc., and Judy Noll pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges related to a complex DBE fraud scheme that, incredibly, lasted for more than 16 years, totaled almost $19 million, and involved 224 bridge projects throughout Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) has issued a preliminary and updated list of machinery and equipment steel products which will be exempt under the Pa. Steel Products Procurement Act for 2016. The list was published in the Pa. Bulletin on Saturday, February 6, 2016, and can be found here.
Effective January 1, 2016, the thresholds for public bidding by Pennsylvania state authorities and municipalities will remain unchanged from 2015 and are as follows:
- Purchases and contracts below $10,500 require no formal bidding or written/telephonic quotations
- Purchases and contracts between $10,500 and $19,400 require three written/telephonic quotations
- Purchases and contracts over $19,400 require formal bidding
Bidding thresholds are adjusted annually for inflation by the Pa. Department of Labor & Industry under Act 90 of 2011. The Pa. Bulletin announcement announcing the 2016 bidding thresholds can be found here.