A Connecticut electrical contractor has been fined $3.2 million for alleged fraud connected with public construction contracts.
Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc., of Farmington, was ordered to pay the fine, along with internal reforms to as part of a criminal and civil investigation into its business practices, said John Durham, U.S. States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
According to the state attorney, in April 2007, the state of Connecticut Department of Transportation selected Ducci Electrical to be the prime contractor for a construction contract valued at $79,234,692 to replace 11 miles of catenary, which is overhead line wire used to transmit electrical energy to trains.
The contract, which was funded with USDOT financial assistance, required Ducci to comply with DBE regulations and designated a goal of 13 percent. In its bid documents, Ducci proposed to subcontract the work.
In March 2012, Ducci received a public construction subcontract valued at $6,699,999.60 relating to the Bus Rapid Transit system along a 9.4-mile corridor between New Britain and downtown Hartford.
The contract, also funded with USDOT financial assistance, designated a DBE goal of approximately 12 percent. In its bid documents, Ducci again said the work would go to a subcontractor.
The government contends that Ducci knew that the subcontractor would not be performing a commercially useful function as a DBE on either contract.
Instead, Ducci employees were diverted to work for the subcontractors and did the work instead. Ducci submitted to ConnDOT and other entities periodic DBE update forms and certified payroll and payment verifications for work Ducci claimed the company had performed that would qualify for DBE credit.
In a non-prosecution agreement with the government, Ducci admitted the subcontractor was not performing certain commercially useful functions on the 2007 and 2012 contracts, and that it caused false statements to be submitted to the United States and ConnDOT, thereby depriving other DBE companies of that or other work.
In addition to the fine, Ducci, has entered into a monitoring agreement with the Federal Transit Administration.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.