November 30, 2018
Former Inspector Sentenced in Maine for Falsifying Hotel Bills on Bridge Project
On November 30, 2018, Sheila Curtis, a former consultant fabrication inspector for HRV Conformance Verification Associates, Inc. (HRV), was sentenced in Maine Criminal Court, Franklin, Maine, to 90 days’ incarceration. This sentencing was part of a deferred disposition agreement dating from November 9, 2016, when Curtis pleaded guilty to theft by deception and forgery and agreed to pay HRV $10,955.52 in restitution. At that time, the court gave Curtis 24 months to pay the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) $49,978.98 in restitution because, as the investigation revealed, she also had conducted similar unlawful activities in that city. As Curtis paid the money within 24 months, the Maine Attorney General’s Office reduced her original felony charges to misdemeanors and asked the court to impose the 90-day sentence included in the disposition agreement.
Curtis worked for HRV, the company hired by the Maine DOT to perform inspection services on the federally funded Lisbon/Durham bridge project. HRV assigned Curtis to inspect materials fabricated at a plant in Kingfield, Maine. As the investigation revealed, from June 2015, to October 2015, Curtis deceived HRV and the State of Maine by falsely creating the impression that she had stayed at two hotels during her work in Kingfield. She later admitted to falsely making or altering hotel bills to obtain reimbursement for lodging expenses she had not incurred.
DOT-OIG conducted the investigation, assisted by FHWA’s Maine Division, Maine DOT, and New York City DOT. The Maine Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.