Four Kansas Construction Companies Agree to Pay Over $800,000 to Settle Allegations of False Claims Under FHWA DBE Program
January 02, 2008
On January 2, 2008, AGW Steel, Inc. (AGW), Koss Construction Company, Inc. (Koss), Carter– Waters Corporation (CWC), and Ideker, Inc. (Ideker) agreed to a civil settlement in U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas, to resolve allegations of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud. AGW agreed to pay $50,000; Ideker agreed to pay $22,000; Koss agreed to pay $600,000; and CWC agreed to pay $176,000. Koss, CWC, and Ideker also agreed to corporate integrity programs to be approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). AGW and its owners, Harvey and Geneal Williams, agreed to voluntarily withdraw from participation in the Federal DBE program for a period of 3 years. The investigation revealed that Koss used AGW as a supplier on various federally funded construction projects valued at approximately $54 million to help Koss meet the contractually mandated DBE goals. During the same period of time (2002), AGW inserted itself in the procurement process between CWC and Ideker, another prime contractor. The Ideker scheme was identified by KDOT and did not result in any loss to the U.S. Government. For participation in this pass–through scheme, AGW received approximately $32,500. OIG investigated this case with assistance from FHWA and the Kansas Department of Transportation.