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New York Construction Company Owner Sentenced for Highway Fraud

On September 7, 2011, Oscar Rayford was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York.  Mr. Rayford, owner of Rayford Enterprises, Inc., a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), was sentenced to eight months of home confinement, one year of probation, a $7,500 fine, and a $100 special penalty assessment.  Mr. Rayford also was ordered to forfeit $1.8 million to the government.

Mr. Rayford previously pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with mail fraud.  Mr. Rayford admitted that between 2001 and 2007, he falsely represented to various government agencies that his company was performing a "commercially useful function" as a DBE manufacturer of concrete, when he entered into a series of agreements with Lafarge North America (Lafarge), a non-DBE, where Lafarge performed virtually all the work functions associated with concrete production and delivery on five highway construction projects funded by the Federal Highway Administration.  Mr. Rayford obtained payments from the general contractors, retained a small percentage as his fee, and passed on the remainder to Lafarge.  The total value of the work performed by Lafarge on behalf of Mr. Rayford was in excess of $3.2 million.