Investigations

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Utah Corporation Pled Guilty to Making False Statements Related to the Installation of Non-Conforming Crash Cushions

On July 7, 2009, Hikiau, Inc. (Hikiau), a Utah corporation specializing in the installation of highway safety devices, pled guilty to falsifying certificates of compliance related to the installation of highway crash cushions on a federally funded highway project. As part of the plea agreement, the United States agreed not to further prosecute company officials. Hikiau was placed on 36 months of probation, ordered to pay a fine of $10,000, and $31,485.45 in restitution.

During a Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) debarment hearing, Hikiau, Inc. admitted to submitting certificates of compliance for highway crash cushions to UDOT, even though Hikiau knew that the installation of these devices did not meet the UDOT standards and manufacturer’s specifications and requirements. Representatives for Hikiau testified that Hikiau submitted the false certificates of compliance in order to get paid, knowing the crash cushions did not meet UDOT standards. The FHWA Division Office for Utah advised OIG of this information, and the subsequent investigation conducted by the OIG discovered that Hikiau had falsified certificates of compliance on at least five other DOT–funded projects.