March 13, 2018
Pennsylvania Steel Company Owner Sentenced in DBE Fraud Scheme
On March 13, 2018, Donald R. Taylor, president and owner of Century Steel Erectors (Century Steel), Dravosburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to 3 years’ probation, a $30,000 fine, and 300 hours of community service. Taylor was also ordered to pay $85,221.21 in restitution to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
In October 2017, Taylor pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for his role in a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme involving federally funded bridge projects. He admitted that he joined and presided over a DBE pass-through scheme in which Century Steel used WMCC Inc. (WMCC), a certified DBE, as a front company to obtain profits from DBE subcontracts.
The investigation revealed that WMCC failed to perform a “commercially useful function,” on the projects, and Century Steel officials actually found, negotiated, coordinated, performed, managed, and supervised DBE subcontracts related to bridge construction. To conceal the scheme, Century Steel used WMCC letterhead and email accounts when communicating with general contractors and PennDOT officials. Century Steel also possessed WMCC business cards, T-shirts, and hard hats, and used WMCC magnetic placards to conceal Century Steel logos on construction vehicles.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission OIG.