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New York Contracting Company and Business Owners Sentenced in Connection With Construction Fraud Scheme

On December 20, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York sentenced general contractor Man O'Trees (MOT) to a $200,000 fine and a $400 court assessment. MOT previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to the information, between approximately May 2009 and 2013, MOT conspired with others to defraud DOT, New York State DOT, and the City of Niagara Falls, New York—among other governmental entities—to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses. MOT conspired to fraudulently secure public works construction contracts by using Sue-Perior Concrete and Paving, Inc., a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), to fulfill its DBE percentage goals. Though MOT is not a certified DBE, the company performed the work that Sue-Perior was contracted to perform. Various DOT-funded construction projects, valued at over $15 million, were impacted, including projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In addition, David Pfeiffer, MOT’s owner and president, and Thomas Colton, Sue-Perior’s majority owner and president, were each sentenced to 1 year of probation, a $5,000 fine, and a court assessment of $25. Both Pfeiffer and Colton previously pleaded guilty to charges of bank larceny in connection with their theft of property and money from a financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
DOT-OIG investigated this case with the Department of Labor-OIG.