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Ohio Contractor Pleads Guilty to DBE Fraud; Agrees to Pay $300,000 in Fines and Restitution

On January 11, Central Allied Enterprises, Inc. (CAE) pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, to charges of knowingly making a false statement regarding a $2.7 million Federal highway project in Lorain County, Ohio. To meet the requirement that a percentage of its subcontractors be awarded to minorities under the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE), CAE stated it would use a DBE-certified contractor to provide curb and gutter work on the bridge project. In fact, CAE utilized its own employees and a non-DBE contractor to perform the work. CAE agreed to pay a $30,000 fine and $275,410 in restitution to FHWA and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The company also agreed to a six-month exclusion from ODOT projects and to a compliance monitoring program for three years. The voluntary exclusion was retroactive and expired November 27, 2006. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.