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Florida Contractor Pleads Guilty To Grand Theft

TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced that White Construction Company, a major road builder headquartered in Chiefland, FL has pled guilty to six counts of Grand Theft. As a result of the plea agreement, White Construction was placed on probation for 30 years and is barred from doing business with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for 30 years. In addition, the company was ordered to pay restitution as well as costs of the investigation and prosecution totaling almost $1.5 million and fined $60,000.

The company was charged with making inflated, fraudulent claims for extra compensation on state highway contracts. White Construction was also charged with filing claims that detailed double and triple-billing for every laborer and piece of equipment used on certain state projects.

"As caretakers of taxpayers dollars, the State of Florida demands honesty from our contractors," said Crist. "These penalties make it clear that the principle of an honest day's pay for an honest day's work was grossly violated in this case."

In addition to the sanctions on the company, Luther M. White, Jr., 59, was placed on probation for 30 years and barred from doing business with FDOT for 30 years. As the family member who ran the company, he was separately fined $10,000 and also made liable with the company for the restitution and costs.

Luther M. White, Sr., 83, who is no longer active in the company, is also barred from doing business with FDOT for 30 years.

The charges against the company and family members resulted from an investigation initiated and conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the Florida Department of Transportation, assisted by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.