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Electric Supply Company and President Plead Guilty to Falsifying DBE Applications

L&K Electric Supply Company of Birmingham, AL, and company president Adriene Balton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, VA, to falsifying four applications submitted to the Virginia Department of Transportation for disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) certification. Balton admitted she and her company committed fraud in order to win a $14.7 million contract that counts toward the State's DBE contract goal for socially and economically disadvantaged firms. Balton answered "no" in response to an application question asking whether she or her company had previously been denied DBE certification. Investigation found L&K had been denied DBE status by Louisiana, Maryland, and Florida for a variety of reasons, including that L&K's business affiliation with another company exceeded the gross revenue limit and Balton did not exercise day-to-day control over business operations.