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Miami International Airport Contractor Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison For DBE Fraud

On March 12, Dewitt Jackson "Jack" Maxwell was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Miami, Florida, to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $14,800 in fines in connection with fraud involving the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program at Miami International Airport (MIA). Maxwell, vice president of Fisk Electric, was convicted by a Federal jury on November 17, 2006, on mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges. According to evidence at trial, Maxwell devised a scheme to enable awards to be made to FLP Enterprises, Inc. for more than $20 million (including $5.8 million in Federal funds) in electrical construction work at MIA between December 2001 and October 2004. The Miami-Dade County Aviation Department was told that FLP, a certified DBE, was to perform the work. The electrical work was actually performed by Fisk Electric, which was not a DBE. For the use of its name, FLP received a fee of between 3 and 5 percent of the value of the work assigned to it on paper.

Maxwell was the last of four people to face charges in this case. Former Fisk executive Pat Clyne and FLP vice president Hector Paultre pleaded guilty in 2006 and were each sentenced to five years in prison. Also indicted in July 2005 was Arthur Teele, a Fisk consultant and a former Administrator of the Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration (predecessor to the Federal Transit Administration). Teele committed suicide shortly after the indictments. This investigation was conducted by a joint task force which included OIG, the Miami-Dade County Police Department's Public Corruption Unit, the IRS' Criminal Investigations Division and the FBI.