Former Pennsylvania Bridge Contractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges
On January 24, 2014, Matthew Williams, former owner of Clear Span Construction Products, LLC, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to a charge of falsifying engineering documents related to federally-funded highway construction projects between July 2008 and April 2012. Clear Span manufactured stay-in-place (SIP) metal bridge deck forms that were placed between either structural steel or pre-stressed concrete bridge girders.
Williams admitted that, on multiple occasions and without authorization, he forged or affixed the seal and signature of unwitting Professional Engineers (P.E.) on bridge plans and transmitted these engineering documents, as required, to prime contractors on the FHWA funded projects. The investigation revealed that Williams submitted over 500 falsified documents on more than 75 federal and state funded highway projects in 13 states. FHWA funded contracts require P.E. approval to ensure both the safety of the construction workers during bridge construction and the integrity of the bridge designs. FHWA concluded that there were no safety concerns surrounding the metal bridge deck form designs upon which Williams falsely affixed P.E. signatures.
Additionally, in August 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office entered into a civil settlement agreement with Clear Span and its partners that resulted in a $50,000 civil settlement.
We are conducting the investigation jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FHWA has provided substantial assistance.