Georgia Contractor Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Settle Civil False Claims Related to the DBE Program
On April 1, 2015, C.W. Matthews Contracting, Inc. (CW Matthews), a general contractor located in Marietta, Georgia, entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States in U.S. District Court, Atlanta, Georgia. CW Matthews agreed to pay $1 million for false claims made on federally-funded highway construction projects involving the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.
The investigation revealed that from approximately 2007 to 2010, CW Matthews filed false and misleading DBE reports, in order to continue receiving payments under DOT funded construction contracts. CW Matthews submitted false DBE Reports to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) by representing that Longoria Trucking, a certified DBE, was fulfilling the required DBE construction work. However, GE Robinson, a non-DBE firm, had actually completed the required DBE work.
Additionally, on April 2, 2015, CW Matthews and FHWA agreed to an administrative settlement and compliance agreement for a period of three years in order to settle administrative action by the FHWA. Among other requirements, CW Matthews agreed to appoint a corporate compliance officer and establish a compliance program. They also agreed to retain an independent monitor, who will monitor CW Matthew’s compliance with the DOT DBE Program and submit periodic reports to the FHWA. Violation of the agreement could subject CW Matthews to suspension and debarment action by FHWA.
This investigation was conducted with assistance from the FHWA and GDOT.