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Pennsylvania Transit Contractor Debarred For Three Years in DBE Fraud Case

On April 17, FTA debarred Michael Tulio and his company, Tulio Landscaping, for 3 years as a result of their June 2006 convictions on conspiracy and fraud charges involving FTA's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. Tulio paid a DBE-certified hauling firm, Pullins Trucking, for the illicit use of its name to secure contracts with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), an FTA grantee. Investigation determined that Tulio submitted false checks, reports and correspondence claiming that Tulio used Pullins Trucking to perform hauling services, when in fact Tulio Landscaping used its own employees. The Tulio contracts totaled approximately $418,000, with the DBE fraud amount involving $68,000. Tulio was sentenced December 26, 2006, in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to pay a $40,000 fine and to serve 15 months in prison and 24 months supervised release. His company was fined $103,000. The Tulio investigation was part of a larger case involving $1.27 million of fraud on Federally-funded SEPTA construction contracts executed by JMG Excavating. JMG officials pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges in May 2006 and were debarred for 5 years by FTA. This investigation was conducted with the FBI and with assistance from FTA.