The contractor at the center of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the illegal use of a minority-owned enterprise to obtain $87.5 million in government-funded road construction contracts is still being paid by one of the states it defrauded, even as six individual defendants in the case have entered guilty pleas.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Boggs Paving of Monroe, N.C., continues to receive its share of a $308.3 million design-build contract for the 20-mile Monroe Bypass near Charlotte, which has been stymied since 2012 by lawsuits claiming flawed environmental studies.
The contract was awarded to Boggs and its joint venture partners—United Infrastructure Group, Inc.; Anderson Columbia Company, Inc.; and lead design firm Rummel, Klepper & Kahl LLP—in 2011, two years before a federal grand jury issued a 29-count indictment against the company and six individuals for misusing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program to fraudulently obtain contracts in North and South Carolina as far back as 2004.
Although Boggs has not been awarded any work by either state since the indictments were handed down, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has paid $46.6 million on the Monroe Bypass contract to Boggs and its partners, despite the absence of any construction-related activity on the $850 million project.
Following Boggs Paving’s President and CEO Carl “Drew” Boggs entering a guilty plea on August 28, NCDOT officials told local news outlets they would continue to monitor the case “to determine what actions are in the best interest of the public.”
The case stems from a federal investigation into allegations that Boggs Paving worked with Styx Cutherbertson Trucking Company, a certified DBE and SBE also based in Monroe, to create the illusion that the latter was performing work on state- and federally funded construction contracts that was actually being performed by Boggs.
In addition to using Styx’s bank account to funnel money to Boggs Paving, the indictment alleges that the “Boggs” logo on its company trucks were covered magnetic decals bearing the “Styx” company logo, creating the appearance that Styx was the company performing the work.
Boggs Paving is also accused of creating quotes on Styx letterhead for construction contracts, and drafting fraudulent contracts and invoices for work supposedly done by Styx; and giving Styx Cuthbertson pre-prepared documents (including quotes, contracts, and DBE reports) for his signature.
Boggs Paving claimed DBE credits of approximately $3.7 million on 35 federally funded contracts for payments purportedly made to Styx, which only received payments of approximately $375,432 for actual work on these contracts, all according to the indictment.
In addition to Drew Boggs, other defendants include Boggs Paving CFO Kevin Hicks; Vice Presidents Greg Miller and Greg Tucker; and Project Manager Arnold Mann, as well as Styx Cutherbertson owner John Cuthbertson. All have have cooperated with federal investigators and await sentencing.