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Missouri Construction Company and Company Officials Suspended

On December 16, 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended Freedom Fence, LLC, Devin Rhyneer, and Teresa Rhyneer from participating on contracts with Federal funding.

The suspensions were based on an indictment filed against Devin Rhyneer on October 21, 2015, in U.S. District Court, St. Louis, MO, charging him with committing fraud related to the quality of work performed, and the materials furnished on a federally funded highway project in Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) alleged that highway guardrail was improperly installed on a federally funded highway project on Routes W and PP in Jefferson County, MO. The project awarded $5.95 million to J.H. Berra Construction Co., Inc., who subcontracted the installation of guardrail to Freedom Fence, a disadvantaged business enterprise, for $203,195. 

On April 1, 2015, MoDOT randomly selected and removed three guardrail posts installed by Freedom Fence to check the length. In all, approximately 975 guardrail posts were pulled, affecting almost 2,000 lineal feet of guardrail. 564 posts were short of the required six foot length minimum, and 27 were unmeasurable (meaning they were so mangled that MoDOT could not determine the length). MoDOT retained about 40-50 posts for evidentiary purposes.

DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with assistance from MoDOT.

Note: A suspension or debarment frequently covers a specific period of time. Please consult the System for Award Management to determine whether a company or individual is currently suspended or debarred.