Pennsylvania Steel Erection Company President Charged With Conspiracy and Money Laundering in DBE Fraud Scheme
On November 18, 2015, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, returned a fourteen count indictment charging Donald R. Taylor with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Taylor, the president and owner of Century Steel Erectors, Dravosburg, Pennsylvania, allegedly joined and presided over a DBE pass-through scheme in which Century Steel used WMCC Inc., a certified DBE, as a front company to obtain profits from DBE subcontracts.
The indictment alleged that Century Steel officials actually found, negotiated, coordinated, performed, managed, and supervised the DBE subcontracts related to bridge construction. Furthermore, the indictment alleged that WMCC failed to perform a "commercially useful function" and Century Steel actually performed and completed the DBE work. Century Steel allegedly paid WMCC a small "fixed-fee" for the use of their name.
The indictment also alleged that to conceal the scheme, Century Steel officials used WMCC letterhead and email accounts when communicating with general contractors and PennDOT officials. Century Steel personnel allegedly possessed WMCC business cards, t-shirts, and hard hats, and used WMCC magnetic placards to conceal Century Steel logos on construction vehicles. The indictment further alleged that Century Steel officials controlled WMCC bank accounts in order to move illicit proceeds into Century Steel bank accounts.
WMCC was awarded $1.89 million in DBE subcontracts as a result of this scheme, which not only allegedly enriched Donald R. Taylor, but also deprived legitimate DBE's of profits from subcontracts that were designated for their benefit.
This case is being worked jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Office of Inspector General.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.