Last week, I posted about how whistleblowers continue to receive large settlements related to DBE fraud. A somewhat recent case from the federal court in Maryland shows how whistleblowers are ferreting out DBE fraud on construction projects receiving any form of federal funding.
The case involves a bridge painting project in Maryland that was let by the Maryland State Highway Administration. The contract required the prime contractor to meet a 15% DBE participation goal. The prime contractor submitted a bid stating it would have 15.12% DBE participation. After it was awarded the contract, the prime contractor – as is typical – submitted additional forms certifying to the MSHA that 15.12% of its contract price would be performed by a DBE firm. The prime contractor indicated that one DBE subcontractor, Northeast Work and Safety Boats, LLC (“NWSB”), would perform the 15.12% of the work.