Investigations

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Contractor Fined $143,000 and Ordered Jailed in Philadelphia DBE Case

On December 20, Michael Tulio, owner and operator of Tulio Landscaping, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 15 months in prison, 24 months supervised release and a $143,000 fine for his role in a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme related to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) transit contracts. Tulio and his company were convicted in June of conspiracy and mail fraud. Tulio was indicted in March 2006 on charges of paying a minority-owned DBE hauling firm, Pullins Trucking, for the use of its name to secure contracts with SEPTA, an FTA grantee. Our investigation determined that Tulio submitted false checks, DBE reports, and correspondence misrepresenting that each entity properly used the DBE firm to perform the work stipulated in the contract, when in fact they used their own employees. The Tulio contracts totaled approximately $418,000, with the DBE fraud amount involving approximately $68,000. On October 16, 2006, FTA suspended Tulio and his company from doing business with the federal government, pending debarment.