Former CFO of New York Engineering Contractor Sentenced to Prison for Role in Fraud Scheme
On November 12, 2019, Shahid Akhtar, the former chief financial officer at HAKS Engineers, Architects, & Land Surveyors, DPC (HAKS), was sentenced in New York State Court to 1 year of imprisonment and $375 in court costs. Akhtar pleaded guilty on May 13, 2019, to two counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.
On April 18, 2018, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY) announced indictments of Akhtar and others following a wide-scale investigation into schemes involving bribery; fraud in DOT’s Disadvantaged, Minority, and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program; and illegal campaign contributions from construction companies and their high-level executives. The corrupt and fraudulent activities involved a number of Government projects, including some funded by DOT—New York State’s (NYS) Kosciuszko Bridge Reconstruction Project, funded by Federal Highway Administration, and various NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway projects, funded by the Federal Transit Administration.
On November 28, 2018, Ifeanyi Madu, a former mid-level manager at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, pleaded guilty in State court to bribe receiving in the first degree. Madu acknowledged that, between 2007 and 2016, he leaked confidential information about city contracts to certain construction management companies, including HAKS, and their executive officers. As a result, the companies gained a competitive edge during the procurement and bidding process.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the DANY Construction Fraud Task Force.