New York Contractor Indicted for Fraud
On January 31, 2018, Nathaniel P. Lorenz, owner of ACME Powerwashing Inc. (ACME), Holley, New York, was indicted in the Northern District of New York on eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.
The investigation disclosed ACME contracted with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in 2015 and 2016 to clean and seal the road portions of bridges, known as concrete bridge. The work involved power-washing bridge decks with water and then sealing them with a chemical that makes the concrete more resistant to water, chlorides, and waterborne contaminants that cause deterioration. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided most of the funding for these contracts.
The indictment alleges Lorenz submitted fraudulent invoices to NYSDOT on three contracts to conceal that he was not buying the correct amount of the sealing chemical. Each contract required ACME to purchase a certain amount of sealing chemical, based on the length of the concrete bridge deck. Lorenz falsely claimed that he was buying sealing chemicals from S. E. Brett, Inc., a company he owned but that does not sell anything. NYSDOT paid ACME $1,139,119.74 for bridge-sealing work, and an additional $759,002.64 for bridge washing and other work. ACME has been a NYSDOT contractor since 2010.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.