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Connecticut Construction Firm Sentenced to 3 Years Probation and a $200,000 Fine

On December 3, 2015, Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. (Cherry Hill), North Branford, Connecticut, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, New Haven, Connecticut, to 3 years probation and ordered to pay a $200,000 fine for underfunding its retirement plan and filing a false tax return.

In January 2015, Cherry Hill pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and making a false statement in relation to documents required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Our investigation determined that Cherry Hill submitted falsified certified payrolls on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) projects, including multiple American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects.

A review of Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) records revealed that Cherry Hill, serving as a subcontractor on the $101 million, FHWA/FTA funded New Haven Line Catenary and Five Bridges project, submitted falsified certified payrolls that overstated Cherry Hills' pension plan contributions. The investigation further determined that Cherry Hill also submitted falsified certified payrolls on three (3) ARRA funded municipal projects.

We conducted this investigation with the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations  and the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General.