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Investigations

Date

Four Wrongdoers Plead Guilty To Conducting Surety Bond Fraud Scheme

On September 29, 2021, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Xavier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Three other individuals previously pleaded guilty to the same charges—Henry Hattendorf on September 28, 2021, Timothy Castracane on September 22, 2021, and Robert Wann on September 13, 2021. The four defendants were indicted on December 8, 2020, for using various businesses to unlawfully obtain payments from construction companies in exchange for fraudulent surety bonds secured by valueless “gold certificates.” The scheme included the March 2015 sale of a fraudulent surety bond, purportedly valued at nearly $23 million, to contractors working on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s (PANYNJ) Goethals Bridge replacement project, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The victims paid over $919,000 for the fraudulent surety bond.
 
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with EPA-OIG, PANYNJ-OIG, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.