Former Tennessee Guardrail Contractor Pled Guilty to Obstruction of Justice Following Destruction of Documents Requested by a Federal Grand Jury
On February 14, 2012, Allen Roy Defoe, former owner of Tennessee Guardrail Inc., (TNG), pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Tennessee, Nashville Division, to one count of obstruction of justice for his role in the destruction of documents that were requested by the Federal Grand Jury in 2006. The federal grand jury was in the midst of an investigation focusing on anti-trust violations on state transportation contracts.
A federal task force consisting of state and federal agencies, including the DOT-OIG, was formed to determine if highway contractors were engaging in antitrust violations during the bid process for contracts advertised by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). During the investigation, agents reviewed the circumstances surrounding multiple contracts awarded to TNG as well as the conduct of a former TDOT employee whose duties included oversight of the TDOT and TNG contracts.
As part of the investigation, Mr. Defoe was ordered to produce multiple documents relating to his business records, and more specifically records relating to the purchase of gifts or anything of value for any current or former employees of TDOT. During the subsequent investigation, agents learned that between May 2006 and August 2006, Mr. Defoe, in concert with others, conspired to shred various documents that he was previously ordered to produce to the grand jury with the assistance of a commercial document shredding company. Mr. Defoe's actions were viewed as an effort to substantially impede and obstruct the ongoing investigation and as a result, he was charged with obstruction of justice.
Currently, Mr. Defoe is awaiting sentencing scheduled for June 2012. This investigation was worked jointly with the United States Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General of Tennessee, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.