Ohio Landscaping Subcontractor Ordered to Pay $54,050 in Fines and Restitution for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Fraud under a $37 Million Federally - funded Highway Project
On July 6, Deitering Landscaping, Inc. was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Columbus, OH to pay $44,050 in restitution, fined $10,000 and ordered to serve two years probation, for making false statements or otherwise aiding and abetting in providing false statements in the form of certified payrolls submitted to the Ohio Department of Transportation (O-DOT) under a federally-funded highway project. Between October 2001 and July 2003, Deitering (a non-DBE) was a subcontractor on a $37 million highway project in Ohio with a 7.1 percent DBE goal. Our investigation found that while Deitering certified that a DBE firm would perform seeding, mulching, and ditch protection on the project, Deitering employees and equipment were used in performing this work. After felony charges were leveled against Deitering, O-DOT debarred the firm from doing business with the Ohio state government for a six-month period ending in October 2004. Deitering pled guilty in February 2006. The ongoing investigation is being conducted jointly with the Department of Labor.