November 8, 2016
Georgia Contractor Debarred by FHWA Related to DBE Fraud
On November 8, 2016, McAfee Design and Distributing Co., Inc. was debarred by the Federal Highway Administration for a period of 3 years based on a civil settlement related to false claims regarding DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.
On December 17, 2012, a relator filed a qui tam alleging that Lane-REA Contracting LLC knowingly violated DBE regulations on a Federal aid project. Lane-REA had represented to DOT and the South Carolina DOT (SCDOT) that it would meet the project’s DBE requirements by subcontracting $228,450 in DBE work to McAfee, a certified DBE.
Our investigation revealed, however, that Lane-REA and McAfee falsely claimed that McAfee had completed the work specified in the original contract. Instead, McAfee improperly brokered the entire scope of its subcontract to Premier Concrete, a non-DBE company, in violation of DOT regulations. In 2014, both Lane-REA and McAfee entered into separate civil settlement agreements with the United States and agreed to collectively repay $400,000 to DOT to settle the false claims.
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.