Owner of a Highway Inspection Firm Charged in Ongoing PENNDOT Fraud and Public Corruption Investigation
On April 16, 2015, a state criminal complaint was filed in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, charging Christopher Czop, president and principal operating officer of the engineering consultant company Czop Specter, Inc. The complaint alleged that he was involved in an on-going corruption and fraud scheme involving Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) contracts.
Czop allegedly assisted in writing a PennDOT contract proposal to insure that he would win the bridge inspection work, and based on his relationship with a PennDOT management official, he was assured to win the contract before it was officially announced. Czop allegedly turned a blind eye and profited from his employees fraudulently inflating billable hours and mileage claims submitted to PennDOT. Czop allegedly agreed to hire unqualified candidates for inspector positions as a result of nepotism within PennDOT and as a favor to close PennDOT management officials. As a result of Czop’s alleged improper and illegal conduct, his company generated over $1 million in illicit profits.
Previously, in December 2014, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed criminal complaints charging ten individuals with widespread corruption and bribery in the related scheme that affected 27 federally funded maintenance and construction contracts in Pennsylvania. Christopher Czop and his company, Czop Specter Inc., employed four of the previously charged inspectors.
We are conducting this investigation with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
Note: Indictments, informations and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.