July 27, 2016
Pennsylvania Man and Company Charged with Fraud on a FHWA Bridge Contract
On July 27, 2016, Andrew Manganas, owner of Panthera Painting, Inc. (Panthera), and Panthera were indicted in U.S. District Court, Harrisburg, PA, on embezzlement, wire fraud, false statements, and environmental charges. The indictment alleges that Manganas and Panthera submitted false certified payroll reports on a $9.8 million subcontract for the blasting, resurfacing, and painting of structural steel on the George Wade Bridge in Harrisburg. This was part of a $42 million FHWA rehabilitation project administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The indictment further alleges that Manganas and Panthera embezzled money from benefit and pension plans by engaging in a “side payroll” scheme where workers received two checks, one for regular hours and a separate “per diem” check. The “per diem” checks were for overtime hours worked and did not include required contributions to the workers’ union welfare benefits and individual employees’ pension plans. Defendants were also charged with discharging pollutants into the Susquehanna River in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act and its regulations.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor-OIG, the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division, and the FBI.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.