New York Construction Company President Sentenced to Three Years Probation and Ordered to Pay $262,000 for DBE Fraud Scheme
On May 13, 2011, Walter Bale, president of Walter Constructions Associates, Inc. (WCA), was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for his role in a $7.9 million Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme. Mr. Bale was sentenced to serve three years probation, and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. In addition, Mr. Bale forfeited $237,000 to the government.
Mr. Bale previously admitted that between January 2000 and December 2001, WCA obtained three subcontracts from the Perini Corporation (Perini), valued at approximately $7.9 million, to install rebar while posing as a DBE known as Fairview Contracting Corporation (Fairview). Mr. Bale conspired with Stephen Funny, the owner of Fairview, to transfer WCA's employees and expenses to the books and records of Fairview to generate the false appearance that Fairview was performing the subcontracts for Perini. These projects included work on the Cross Island Parkway/Long Island Expressway interchange, the BQE/Williamsburg Bridge connector ramp, and the Queens Boulevard Bridge/Honeywell Street Bridge projects.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Federal Construction Fraud Task Force for the Eastern District of New York, whose members include the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and the New York City Department of Investigation.