Massachusetts Highway Contractor and Two Executives Convicted Of Fraud Charges
On May 9, Plymouth, Massachusetts highway contractor P.A. Landers, Inc. (PAL) and two of its senior executives were convicted by a Federal jury following a two-week trial in Boston, Massachusetts, on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and making false claims on a Federal-aid highway project. The company, its president, Preston Landers, and its vice president, Gregory Keelan were indicted in September 2005 on charges related to providing false and inflated asphalt weight tickets for state and local paving projects between 1996 and March 2003. Landers and Keelan directed company employees to generate the false and inflated weight tickets by using a manual override device Landers had installed at the company's Plymouth asphalt plant. The company mailed the weight tickets to state and municipal agencies, which relied on their accuracy as the basis for payments. Several of the paving projects, including Route 44 between Plymouth and Taunton, Massachusetts, received Federal funds. The total loss to the government could exceed $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for August 9. The company also faces an ongoing civil complaint. PAL and the two officers were suspended by FHWA following their indictment. OIG investigated this case with the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Massachusetts Highway Department.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.