The former chief executive of a Pennsylvania company that made concrete bridge beams has been convicted on multiple counts of fraud and money laundering in what the U.S. Dept. of Transportation says is the largest reported Disadvantaged Business Enterprise fraud in the department’s 45-year history.
The Justice Dept. said a jury in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg on April 5 found Joseph W. Nagle guilty on 26 of the 30 charges in a federal indictment. Nagle (pronounced NOGG-ull) was president, CEO and part-owner of Schuylkill Products Inc. (SPI), Cressona, Pa., and its CDS Engineering Inc. subsidiary until 2009 when the parent SPI was sold.
Nagle’s attorney, Michael A. Schwartz, said, “Obviously, we’re disappointed in the verdict.” He added that he filed a motion on April 6 seeking a 90-day extension “for post-trial motions and laying out some grounds we think may be appropriate for an acquittal or a new trial.”
The Justice Dept. said Nagle, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., was convicted of joining in a long-running conspiracy to defraud U.S. DOT, the Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) when he became SPI president in 2004.
U.S. officials said the alleged scheme extended from 1993 to 2008 and involved more than $136 million in federal-aid transportation contracts.
Since 1983, U.S. DOT has been required by law to make sure that at least 10% of its authorized highway and transit funds go to DBEs. The department has a single DBE goal that includes companies owned by women or members of minority groups.
Justice says the alleged conspirators used Marikina Construction Corp., a small Connecticut firm, as a front company to gain subcontracts designated to go to DBEs.
Federal officials said that Marikina, owned by Romeo P. Cruz of West Haven, Conn., was certified as a DBE by PennDOT and SEPTA, the Philadelphia area’s transit agency.