Illinois Man and Company Suspended by FHWA Related to Fraud on Highway Projects in North Carolina
On May 17, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended Santiago De La Torre and Delgado's Elastomeric Bearings Corporation (Delgado’s) of Joliet, IL, as a result of De La Torre's previous indictment and guilty plea for conspiracy to make false statements concerning highway projects and perjury.
The charges related to De La Torre's role at Delgado's, where he forged documents and participated in manufacturing defective elastomeric bridge bearings (i.e., shock absorbers for bridges). The defective bearings were then sold to multiple highway contractors on numerous bridges in North Carolina.
According to the indictment, between 2008 and 2012, De La Torre carried out a scheme to manufacture and sell bridge bearings on FHWA and State-funded 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. 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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.