Ducci Electrical Contractors to pay $ 3.2 million for DBE fraud
Earlier this month, the Connecticut District Attorney’s Office announced a $ 3.2 million settlement with Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc. (“Ducci”) to resolve a criminal and civil investigation into alleged fraud of the company with regard to public construction contracts. funded primarily by USDOT money.
Ducci was the prime contractor for the nearly $ 80 million project, along with another contract worth over $ 6.5 million. The project had a disadvantaged enterprise (DBE) target of 13%. In both projects, Ducci offered to work with a particular DBE company, believing that she knew that the DBE company would not perform a commercially useful function.
Ducci laid off some of his own employees, who immediately went to work for the DBE company. For both contracts, Ducci supervised the employees and provided the DBE Company with the hours worked, supplied them with Ducci-owned equipment and obtained their equipment for them. Although it did not perform a commercially useful function, Ducci still claimed that the DBE company carried out the work to qualify for the DBE credit.
Ducci admitted to the government that the DBE company did not perform commercially useful functions on the two projects and that Ducci submitted false statements to the government, thereby depriving other DBE companies of the opportunity to perform this work.
As part of the settlement agreement, Ducci agreed to pay more than $ 3.2 million, including interest, to resolve the False Claims Act allegations, and entered into a monitoring agreement with the government.
You can read the press release from the Ministry of Justice here.
© 2021 Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & GefskyRevue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 21