The United States and LaFarge North America Settle Civil Fraud Claims for $950,000
On August 13, 2012, in U.S. District Court, Buffalo, New York, a civil settlement was reached between the U.S. Attorney's Office and LaFarge North America (LNA). The settlement was based on claims that LNA fraudulently obtained subcontracts that were supposed to be performed by certain minority and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE). It was alleged that between June 2001 and March 2006, employees of LNA entered into a fraudulent agreement with Oscar Rayford of Rayford Enterprises. Rayford Enterprises is a certified DBE construction company, and LNA contracted to obtain DBE concrete supply subcontracts from them on eight separate projects in the Buffalo, New York, area that were funded, in part, by FHWA. Even though Mr. Rayford claimed his company was a bona fide DBE that performed concrete work on highway construction projects, the truth was that Mr. Rayford used LNA, a non-DBE manufacturer, to perform all of the concrete work on the projects. Mr. Rayford previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges and forfeited $1.8 million. Pursuant to the settlement, LNA agreed to pay the U.S. $950,000. The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability by LNA.