Investigations

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New York Contractor and Companies Suspended by FHWA Following Indictment

On March 29, 2018, Nathaniel Lorenz, ACME Powerwashing Inc. (ACME), and SE Brett Inc. (SEB), were suspended by FHWA following the January 31, 2018, indictment of Lorenz on eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. SEB is a company owned by Lorenz and co-located with ACME in Holley, New York.

According to the indictment, 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 decks. The work involved power-washing bridge decks with water and then sealing them with a chemical that makes the concrete more resistant to penetration by water, chlorides and waterborne contaminants, which can cause deterioration. 

FHWA provided most of the funds for these contracts, each of which required ACME to purchase a certain amount of sealing chemical, based on how much of the concrete bridge deck was to be sealed. According to the indictment, on three contracts, Lorenz submitted fraudulent invoices to NYSDOT to conceal that he was not buying the required quantity of the sealing chemical. He falsely claimed that he was buying sealing chemicals from SEB, using fraudulent invoices from SEB. 

NYSDOT paid ACME a total of $1,139,119.74 for the bridge-sealing work and an additional $759,002.64 for bridge washing and other work. ACME has been a NYSDOT contractor since 2010. 

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.