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Owner of Chicago Engineering Firm Pleads Guilty to $9.8 Million in Over-Billing on Transportation Projects In Illinois

On February 1, Manu Shah, owner and operator of Shah Engineering, Inc. (SEI), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Illinois, to two counts of mail fraud and one count of false statements related to the over-billing of state and local transportation agencies for at least $9.8 million in engineering and architectural services. This case was initiated after a 2004 audit by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) determined that SEI overstated its overhead expenses on contracts with the state, the City of Chicago and the Illinois State Tollway Authority. Subsequent investigation determined SEI overstated at least $9.8 million in overhead and other costs on various transportation projects, including IDOT contracts receiving FHWA funds. IDOT suspended SEI from doing business with the state in August 2005. Sentencing is set for June 4. This case was investigated jointly with the FBI.