Demolition Company and Executive Plead Guilty in Bribery Case Involving Falsified DBE Certification affecting $228,000 in DOT-funded Subcontracts
On October 14, Philly-Wide Interiors, Inc. (PWI) and its owner, Daniel Pellicciotti, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to bribery of a public official. Pellicciotti admitted to submitting a false application to the Philadelphia Minority Business Enterprise Council (MBEC) for certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE). The application falsely stated that Pellicciotti’s wife, a full-time nurse, controlled PWI, allowing the firm to qualify as a woman-owned business. The company subsequently obtained a $228,000 subcontract in 2001 for demolition and refurbishment work on a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority project.
Investigation found that at various times in 2000, Pellicciotti had provided cash and other things of value to Wendell B. Toland, Jr., then employed by MBEC, in exchange for receiving the illicit DBE certification. Toland, who cooperated in the investigation, pleaded guilty on May 25, 2005 and was ordered to pay $1,500 in fines and restitution and to serve 36 months probation.
As part of the plea agreement, the company will be debarred from doing business with the federal government. Pellicciotti has also been referred to FTA for potential debarment. The investigation was conducted jointly with the FBI, IRS, and the Department of Labor-OIG.