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Manufacturer of Defective North Carolina Bridge Parts Convicted

On March 1, 2016, Santiago De La Torre, of Joliet, IL, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Raleigh, NC, to conspiracy to make false statements concerning highway projects and perjury.

The charges were related to De La Torre’s role in the business, Delgado’s Elastomeric Bearings Corporation (Delgado’s), where he forged documents and participated in manufacturing defective elastomeric bridge bearings, which are effectively shock absorbers for bridges, sold to multiple North Carolina highway contractors on numerous bridges in the state.

Between 2009 and 2011, De La Torre carried out a scheme to manufacture and sell bridge bearings on Federal and State highway contracts in North Carolina. He forged an application with the State of North Carolina to supply bridge bearings on highway projects within the State, and with each shipment of bridge bearings, De La Torre falsified various documents concerning the quality and testing of the bridge bearings. De La Torre acknowledged federal and state construction contractors received and relied upon the false and fraudulent certifications.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI.