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Former New York Construction Company Executive Ordered to Forfeit $100,000

On May 11, 2012, John Athanasiou, the former Director of Purchasing for Perini Corporation’s Civil Division, also known as Tutor Perini, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, New York.  As a result of Mr. Athanasiou’s guilty plea on charges of money laundering and conspiracy, he was ordered to forfeit $100,000 and placed on probation for one year.

On October 29, 2010, Mr. Athanasiou pled guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.  The charges stem from Mr. Athanasiou’s involvement in the fraudulent use of front disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) as subcontractors on several DOT, state and local funded roadway improvement projects in the New York City metropolitan area.  Mr. Athanasiou admitted that during the period 1998 through 2001, the Perini Corporation awarded approximately $19 million in fraudulent DBE subcontracts in order to qualify for four construction projects collectively worth $284 million in the New York City area.  These projects included work on the Westside Highway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway/Williamsburg Bridge Connector, the Queens Boulevard/Honeywell Street Bridges, and work on the Long Island Expressway/Cross Island Parkway interchange.  Mr. Athanasiou and others conspired to use three different front DBE subcontractors in order to obtain various levels of DBE credit on these projects and relied upon a number of non-DBE contractors to do the actual work.  The front DBEs generally received between 3%-5% of the subcontract value as a fee to process payroll and other required paperwork. 

The DBE owners and others involved in this conspiracy have since pled guilty.  The Perini Corporation has paid $9.75 million in a negotiated civil settlement to resolve its criminal and civil liability in the matter.