Connecticut Engineering Firm Agrees to Civil Settlement of $390,000
On June 22, 2015, Garg Consulting Services, Inc. (Garg), Rocky Hill, Connecticut, entered into a civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Government and the State of Connecticut. Garg agreed to pay $390,000 to resolve allegations that the company failed to authenticate an employee's purported educational credentials and a professional certification before hiring and assigning him to work on various federal and state funded Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) highway projects, and on a bridge reconstruction project funded by AMTRAK. The settlement amount will be apportioned with the U.S. Government receiving $312,706 and the State of Connecticut receiving $77,294.
The investigation determined that when seeking employment from Garg, Barry Kenneth Purnell, Jr. represented he was a college graduate with a degree in civil engineering management as well as a holder of an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification from the State of Connecticut. However, appropriate employee screening was not done. Had it been conducted, Garg would have learned that the employee had not graduated from college and had never sought nor obtained the stated certification.
At various times Garg submitted proposals maintaining Purnell's purported credentials to meet the qualified personnel standards set forth in the ConnDOT and AMTRAK contracts. On both projects, Garg submitted payroll invoices for work performed by the company's employees, including the unqualified Purnell.
On February 26, 2015, Purnell pleaded guilty to state charges in Connecticut Superior Court, Hartford, Connecticut, related to a scheme to obtain employment as a consultant bridge inspector under false pretenses.
This investigation was conducted jointly with AMTRAK OIG with assistance provided by ConnDOT.