Former PennDOT Consultant Inspector Pleads Guilty and Is Sentenced to Fraud Charges
On April 25, 2016, David Betzner, a former PennDOT consultant inspector, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Norristown, PA. Betzner’s conviction was related to a widespread $1.2 million fraud, corruption, and bribery scheme that affected 27 federally funded construction and maintenance contracts in Pennsylvania. Betzner admitted that he provided kickbacks to a PennDOT manager who overlooked fraudulent overbillings related to project inspections he failed to complete. The Court sentenced Betzner to 60 months’ probation and ordered him to pay $53,000 in restitution.
Previously in April 2015, the Pennsylvania Attorney General filed a State criminal complaint charging Christopher Czop, president of Czop Specter, Inc., a consultant inspection firm, with illegally securing more than $1 million in profits by rigging contract bids and profiting from his employees who fraudulently inflated billable hours and mileage claims to PennDOT. In December 2014, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed additional criminal complaints that charged 10 individuals, including Betzner, with widespread fraud, corruption and bribery. That followed criminal charges four months earlier of PennDOT contractor Thanh Nguyen, who allegedly stole $3.6 million through a false invoice and bribery scheme.
DOT-OIG is working this ongoing investigation jointly with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.