Investigations

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New York Electrical Contractor and Its Owner Suspended by FTA

On December 22, 2015, the FTA suspended J-Star Electric (J-Star) and its owner Stephen Bulfaro from federal contracting. J-Star is an electrical contractor headquartered in the Bronx, New York. On September 28, 2015, J-Star entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the New York County District Attorney's Office. As part of the DPA, Stephen Bulfaro pleaded guilty in New York State Court to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false document.

In 2010, F&S Contracting LLC (F&S) was awarded the contract on the Brooklyn, New York Crosstown Line for the Rehabilitation of Deepwells and Control Upgrade Project. This project, totaling $4,884,700, was funded by the FTA and administered by the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). F&S entered into a subcontract with J-Star for electrical work. J-Star, in turn, purported to utilize a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) for electrical supplies. F&S was obligated to submit periodic DBE utilization reports to the MTA reflecting work performed by the DBEs on the contract. The utilization reports contained information, provided by J-Star, that falsely represented the DBE electrical supplier provided the supplies when, in fact, they were provided by a non-DBE supplier.

UPDATE: In March 2016, FTA removed the temporary suspensions against Stephen Bulfaro and J-Star based on steps they have taken to improve J-Star’s corporate responsibility with regard to the Federal and State DBE programs.  J-Star has appointed a DBE compliance officer.  Additionally, J-Star’s corporate policy now commits to engaging only bona fide DBEs providing commercially useful functions, and to training J-Star employees in ethics and DBE policies.

Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management "sam.gov" should be consulted to find whether a company is currently excluded.