The Department of Justice and DOT's Office of Inspector announced the largest highway construction fraud settlement involving substandard material in the history of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
According to The AASHTO Journal, the $30 million deal involved two corporations which have been the subject of a probe in Louisiana since 1997.
Several former employees of the firms or their predecessor companies have pleaded guilty to charges of concealing unapproved coated metal pipe from the Federal Highway Administration and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development through false certifications of compliance and by stenciling false designations on the pipes.
The non-approved materials may have found their way into more than 200 highway projects in Louisiana between 1992 and '97.
Four employees of two firmsBill Lovelace, former president of Caldwell Culvert Co.; Don Gee and Keith Wingfield, former vice presidents of Caldwell; and Roger McDowell, former employee of Inland Steelhave pleaded guilty to felony charges involving substitution of unapproved steel to the Louisiana agency.
A federal grand jury in Baton Rouge also has indicted another former employee of Inland on charges of making false statements about the quality of the materials.