January 8, 2021
Connecticut Contractor Agrees To Pay $3.2 Million To Resolve Criminal and Civil Investigation
On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut entered into a civil settlement agreement with Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc. Ducci agreed to pay more than $3.2 million plus interest to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.
On the same date, Ducci entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In this agreement, Ducci admitted it caused false statements to be submitted to DOT and Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) by reporting that a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) was performing a commercially useful function when it was not, thereby depriving other DBE companies of that or other work.
In April 2007, ConnDOT awarded Ducci a federally funded $79.2 million contract to replace
electrical wires used to power trains. In March 2012, Ducci received a subcontract on a federally funded $6.7 million Bus Rapid Transit system contract. The contracts required Ducci to comply with DBE regulations. Ducci submitted periodic DBE update forms and certified payroll and payment verifications to ConnDOT and other entities, claiming the DBE performed work that would qualify for DBE credit. However, the DBE never performed a commercially useful function for either contract, as required.
Also, Ducci and the Federal Transit Administration entered into an Administrative Settlement and Compliance Agreement, wherein additional administrative sanctions will not be initiated in consideration of Ducci’s agreement to: adopt a Code of Business Conduct, create a Compliance Officer position, and retain an independent monitor for a period of 3 years from the effective date of the agreement.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with Department of Labor-OIG.