A fourth high-ranking employee at Boggs Paving Inc. in North Carolina has entered a guilty plea in connection with federal allegations that the company mismanaged federal and state contract money. The man, age 59, has reached a plea agreement in the case, which alleges that the company received more than $87 million in construction contracts. Company officials are accused of federal crimes because they misled government officials about the role of a minority-owned business in the construction work.
Authorities report that Boggs Paving was the recipient of more than three dozen federal construction contracts valued at about $87.6 million. Those contracts were granted as early as 2004. However, official reports show that the company would have likely lost the competition for those jobs if they had not claimed that a minority-owned subcontracting firm would receive a specific percentage of the work. However, it appears that the minority-owned company did not play such a significant role in the construction activities.
Prosecutors have levied 29 counts of conspiracy and other criminal activity against both the company itself and its executives. The corporate leaders are accused of attempting to defraud a U.S. government agency, along with wire fraud, mail fraud and other federal crimes. This fourth defendant’s guilty plea means that he could spend as long as five years behind bars and be subject to a quarter-million dollar fine. The other defendants are also facing more serious allegations for mail and wire fraud, which could lead to 20 years’ time in custody each.
Criminal defendants facing time in federal custody may choose to pursue plea agreements instead of facing a jury trial. Although this man chose a plea bargain, it is possible that both the chief executive officer and president of the company may proceed to trial. The decision to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges is one that should be reached only after careful consideration and consultation with a legal team.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Fourth paving company executive pleads guilty in federal fraud case” Elizabeth DePompei, Aug. 04, 2014