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Four Men Sentenced for Providing Nonapproved Pipe in Highway Construction Projects

In a follow-up to the largest contract fraud case in DOT history involving substandard construction products, three officials of Caldwell Construction Company, Greenville, MS, were ordered jailed and fined in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, LA. The men intentionally substituted inferior polymer-coated steel pipe as drainage culverts on federally funded highway-construction projects in Louisiana from 1992 through 1997. Sentences ranged from 51 months in prison and a $125,000 fine for the company's former president to $60,000 fines and 27 to 30 months in jail for two vice-presidents. A former employee of Inland Steel Company, Chicago, was sentenced to 2 years probation for covering up the felony. In January 2001, a $30 million civil settlement was reached with Ispat-Inland (successor company to Inland Steel) and Contech Construction Products, Inc. (successor to Caldwell Culvert). OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baton Rouge.