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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) Contractor And Owner Convicted Of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Fraud

On July 20, a jury in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, PA found Tulio Landscaping Inc. (TLI) and its owner, Michael V. Tulio, guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud related to the DBE program on SEPTA contracts. Between 1999 and 2002, TLI was awarded approximately $418,000 in prime contracts by SEPTA (an FTA grantee) for replacement of collapsed culverts on a commuter rail project. The contracts required TLI to subcontract with a DBE for a portion of the work.

Our investigation found that TLI circumvented those requirements by paying Pullins Dump Trucks, a certified DBE, $4,810 on the DBE subcontracted project that was actually performed by TLI, but billed to SEPTA as DBE work. Tulio submitted false checks, reports, and correspondence misrepresenting that the DBE had performed the work. This investigation, conducted jointly with the FBI, is part of a larger case involving JMG Excavating Co., a prime contractor that pled guilty on similar charges and was sentenced in May 2006 to pay over $1.2 million for DBE fraud. Tulio and TLI are scheduled for sentencing on October 26, 2006.