August 23, 2016
FHWA Suspends New Jersey Company and Owner for DBE Fraud
Effective August 23, Cranford, New Jersey-based Sanzo Ltd. and its owner, Carol Sanzo, were suspended by FHWA from receiving Federal contracts and grant monies. This suspension action applies government-wide.
On July 6, 2016, Carol Sanzo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Between approximately 2008 and 2012, Sanzo routinely circumvented DBE program requirements by causing contract payments from prime contractors to be routed through her company, retaining a “kickback” for herself, and remitting the remainder to non-DBE subcontractors. Sanzo falsely represented that Sanzo Ltd., a formerly certified DBE, supplied fuel on the Willis Avenue Bridge Project, knowing that a non-DBE fuel supplier actually provided those services. The Willis Avenue Bridge Project was funded by FHWA and administered by the New York City DOT. The value of Sanzo Ltd.’s purported DBE subcontract on the project was approximately $6 million.
In a separate action, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey decertified Sanzo Ltd.’s DBE status, effective July 13, 2016.
DOT-OIG is working this investigation jointly with the Port Authority of NY&NJ-OIG.
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.