Investigations

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FHWA Suspends 21 New York and New Jersey Individuals and Companies

On May 1, 2019, following a joint investigation conducted by DOT-OIG and the District Attorney’s Office of New York (DANY) Construction Task Force, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) suspended the following individuals and companies: Shahid Akhtar; Betty Campbell; CIMC Associates, LLC; D&B Engineers & Architects, P.C.; Henry Chluspa; Haider Engineering, P.C.; HAKS Engineers, Architects, & Land Surveyors, DPC; Husam Ahmad; Ifeanyi “Manny” Madu; JCMS Associates, LLC; JCMS Associates of NY, LLC; Joyce Harvey-Madu; Kyriacos Pierides; MCC General Office Services, LLC; MCMS Associates, LLC; Muhammad Haque; Shelly Mohan; Muhammad Siddiqui; SIMCO Engineering, P.C.; Syed Haider; and Walter Gross.
 
On April 18, 2018, DANY announced the indictments of the aforementioned individuals and companies after the investigation found that corruption and fraud was impacting the reconstruction of the Kosciuszko Bridge—which was funded by FHWA through the New York State (NYS) Department of Transportation—as well as various NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway system projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration.
Between 2007 and 2016, Ifeanyi Madu, a former manager at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, allegedly leaked confidential information about city contracts to certain companies—HAKS, SIMCO, and others—and their executive officers during the procurement and bidding process, giving them a competitive edge over other bidders. In return, Madu was rewarded with extravagant meals, gifts, hotel stays, Broadway show tickets, employment opportunities for relatives, charitable donations to organizations he managed, and more than $7.5 million in subcontracts to companies owned or operated by his friends or members of his family, including CIMC, JCMS, JCMS NYC, and MCC. Chluspa, Haider, Gross, Pierides, D&B, and Haider Engineering were charged with conferring bribes upon a public official.
 
The indictments also allege that Husam Ahmad, chief executive officer of HAKS, sought to obtain public contracts by gaining control of SIMCO, which was certified to participate in the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and State Minority/Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) programs. Ahmad allegedly acquired a 45-percent stake in SIMCO but could not claim personal ownership of more than 50 percent without compromising the company’s DBE and MWBE status. He sought to acquire full control of SIMCO by supplying funds to a former HAKS employee, Muhammad Siddiqui, so that Siddiqui could purchase the remaining 55-percent stake. By falsely maintaining the company’s DBE status, SIMCO obtained over $10 million in public contracts that it was not eligible to receive.
 
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the DANY Construction Fraud Task Force.
 
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management should be consulted to find whether a company is currently excluded.