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Owner of Former NY-Based Landscaping Company Sentenced in Connection with DBE Fraud Schemes on Multiple NYS-DOT Construction Projects

On November 23, 2015, Adriano Lott, owner of now-defunct DBE company Landsite Contracting Company (Landsite) was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York, to 3 years of probation and $5,100 in fines in connection with his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Government and state agencies on numerous public contracts.

Between 1998 and the early 2000s, Lott allowed Landsite to be used by both Perini, a prime contractor, and Seneca Contracting Inc. (Seneca), a non-DBE subcontractor, as a “pass-through” DBE, on two FHWA-funded New York State DOT projects. The projects were the $29 million FHWA-funded Westside Highway-Route 9A Project and the $13.4 million FHWA-funded Williamsburg Bridge / BQE Connector Project. Seneca performed the actual landscaping work and billed for its services through Landsite to make it appear as if Landsite performed the work. At the time of these projects, Lott was fully engaged as a project manager on an unrelated construction project in Atlantic City. The value of Landsite's fraudulent DBE sub-contracts exceeded $4.8 million. Additional fraudulent MBE subcontracts exceeded $4.6 million.

In January 2008, Lott pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and agreed to forfeit $100,000 which was paid to the government.

This investigation was conducted jointly with members of the Federal Construction Fraud Task Force, formed in the Eastern District of New York, whose members included DOT-OIG, Internal Revenue Service-CID, U.S. Department of Labor-OIG, and the New York City Department of Investigation.