On March 16, 2017, Elizabeth Perino was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Chicago, Illinois, to 1 year and a day in Federal prison and 12 months’ supervised release for her role in a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme. Perino was the former owner of Perdel Contracting Company (Perdel), which specialized in concrete and carpentry work and was certified as a DBE in the city of Chicago.
On June 17, 2016, Perino was convicted by a jury after a Federal trial on charges of mail and wire fraud. The investigation revealed that Perino and a coconspirator agreed to have Perdel act as a pass-through DBE, by making it falsely appear as though Perdel would provide labor and equipment on a multi-million-dollar project at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Perino falsified various documents to disguise the fact that Perdel, and thus the prime contractor, did not meet DBE requirements. Perdel did not perform any labor or provide any equipment. As part of the scheme, Perdel was to purchase equipment from the prime contractor to make it appear as if it had the proper equipment to perform the work. At the conclusion of the project, Perdel would sell the equipment back to the prime contractor. Furthermore, all workers and equipment would be provided by the prime contractor and loaned to Perdel to make it appear that Perdel actually completed the contracted work.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOL-OIG.