Effective October 5, 2016, Andrew Manganas, owner of Panthera Painting, Inc. (Panthera), and Panthera were suspended from participation in Federal contracts and assistance activities. This suspension action was taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on behalf of the affected agencies.
On July 27, 2016, Manganas and Panthera were indicted in U.S. District Court, Harrisburg, PA, on embezzlement, wire-fraud, false statements, and environmental charges. The indictment alleged 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 Federal Highway Administration rehabilitation project administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The indictment further alleged 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 employee 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 EPA-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.