October 25, 2016
Tennessee DOT Contract Agent Debarred
On October 25, 2016, Michael Wayne Young was debarred from Federal contracting for a 3-year period, which will expire on January 8, 2017. The Federal Highway Administration’s earlier suspension of Young was converted to a debarment, and he was given credit for the suspension time.
He had been previously sentenced in U.S. District Court, Nashville, TN, to 2 years in prison for stealing $974,000 from federally funded state roadway projects and laundering funds derived from that crime. He was also ordered to pay over $221,000—the balance of the stolen funds that were not previously recovered—to the State of Tennessee in restitution.
Young admitted that from 2004 to 2012, he had been employed as a contract agent to purchase property rights of way for road expansion projects planned by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), with funding provided by the United States. Advised by Young that property owners had agreed to sell their rights of way, TDOT would send a check to him in the amount required. Young admitted that, starting in 2004, instead of using the funds to buy property for Tennessee, he used them for personal and business expenses. He also used funds from subsequent right-of-way transactions to pay for previous transactions, in a fashion typical to a “pyramid” scheme. He admitted doing this until 2012, when an audit disclosed the thefts.
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 out whether a company is currently excluded.