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PennDOT Inspectors Sentenced for Their Roles in a $1.2 Million Corruption Scheme

On May 26, 2015, former Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) inspectors Generoso Palmieri, Christopher Lauch, Frank DiMichele, and John Cavanaugh, pleaded guilty and were sentenced in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. Their convictions were related to a widespread $1.2 million corruption and bribery scheme that affected 27 federally funded construction and maintenance contracts in Pennsylvania. 

The court sentenced each to 24 months probation and ordered them to pay restitution as follows: Palmieri $39,786.20; Lauch $51,670.11; DiMichele $43,668.59; and Cavanaugh $21,868.88. All of these former inspectors are cooperating with the government. 

Previously, in April 2015, the Pennsylvania Attorney General filed a state criminal complaint charging Christopher Czop, president of Czop Specter, Inc., a consultant inspection firm, with illegally securing more than $1 million in profits by rigging contract bids and profiting from his employees who fraudulently inflated billable hours and mileage claims to PennDOT. In December 2014, criminal complaints were filed that charged ten individuals, including the four individuals cited above, with widespread corruption and bribery.  That followed criminal charges in July 2014 of PennDOT contractor Thanh Nguyen, who allegedly stole $3.6 million through a false invoice and bribery scheme.

We are working this investigation jointly with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.