Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yeah, um, this isn't looking so good

So, I've gone and changed the names to protect the innocent - and it would appear - the guilty.

This is where the husband works and hopefully will continue to work after the jury returns. We've had some major go-arounds lately because I'm not entirely sure that working for a convicted felon is in our best interest but the decision has been made, the die's been cast and now we're riding this out.

Fun, eh?

BUSINESS

XXX Co. fraud case goes to jury; Accused of overcharging government on paving jobs


By STEVE A.

Local Newspaper

BOSTON - Two top executives acted as ringleaders of a nearly decade-long paving fraud scheme at a contracting firm, prosecutors said in their closing argument in the trial of XXX Co.

‘‘It was part of the culture,’’ Assistant U.S. Attorney George H. said yesterday. ‘‘The company was rotten to the core because of the conduct of its president and vice president.’’

Owner and President Mr. XXX and Vice President Mr. YYY are facing charges of conspiracy, federal highway fraud and mail fraud. Prosecutors said they overcharged the government on paving jobs from 1995 to 2004.

Mr. XXX allegedly instructed an engineer to install a switch at the company’s asphalt plant that enabled operators to inflate weight readings on dump trucks and generate tickets for nonexistent loads. The tickets were submitted to the state and to towns as a basis for payment.

Summing up witnesses’ testimony in U.S. District Court yesterday, George H. said both accused men actively participated in the alleged scheme.

Richard G., a XXX Co. paving superintendent, testified that Mr. XXX and Mr. YYY told him to print extra weight tickets, and when he balked, Mr. XXX called him and told him to ‘‘do it.’’

Thomas F., a former paving superintendent, testified Mr. XXX instructed him to overcharge the town of S on gravel for a soccer field. Thomas F. said Mr. XXX arrived at the job, pulled him into his pick-up truck and said, ‘‘I’m going to show you how to make money.’’ Then Mr. XXX wrote out tickets for four nonexistent truckloads of gravel, Thomas F. testified.

Although the S project is not one of those named in the indictment, ‘‘it shows a similar plan he had to cheat government customers on projects,’’ Henderson said.

Thomas F. testified that Mr. XXX told him to submit phony asphalt tickets to make up for ‘‘rainy days’’ in which crews were not paving.

Mr. YYY instructed plant operators to keep track daily of how many tons of asphalt they overbilled, circling the number on a daily production sheet in what Mr. YYY called ‘‘Dick’s Magic Number,’’ Thomas F testified.

John M, an attorney for Mr. XXX, said the prosecution didn’t prove his client participated in a criminal scheme. The extra weight tickets could have had legitimate purposes such as serving as a trade-off for other expenses, John M. said.

Highway Department officials denied that weight slips could be submitted as trade-offs for other expenses, but John M. scoffed at their testimony during his closing statement. ‘‘In the world of state government, no employee is going to admit to a practice that isn’t in your handbook,’’ he said.

John M. also attacked the credibility of Bruce V., the former plant operator who installed the override switch. Bruce V. lied under oath when he was asked about his educational background, Markey said. Bruce V. gave a fictitious name for a Pittsburgh training institute where he received his diploma and misstated the type of degree he received, he said.

Mr. YYY's attorney, George M. , likened the firm’s alleged billing practices to a homebuilder who accelerates bills to a client. ‘‘He inflates what he has really done because he’s behind,’’ he said. ‘‘Maybe he has a bank looking at him and his receivables. At the end of the day, you got the exact job you paid for.’’

7 comments:

Amy said...

Yowza. Man, this can't be good.

Sarah Louise said...

ACK!

Jennifer said...

yikes

VW said...

No matter what... Happy Mother's Day

catsteevens said...

Definitely not a boring place of employment, you can say that much ;)

G'luck!

SneakyPeek said...

Ummm ...

NEXT

Amy said...

um, I'm starting to get the shakes and hallucinations over here from withdrawal. Could you come back and post again? Even if you just say Go Red Sox?! please?