Former Executive Convicted of Rigging Bids and Defrauding North Carolina Dept. of Transportation
A former executive of Contech Engineered Solutions LLC was convicted today in New Bern, North Carolina, for his participation in bid-rigging and fraud schemes targeting the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
Following a week-long trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, a jury convicted Brent Brewbaker, a former Contech executive, for participating in conspiracies to rig bids and submit false certifications of non-collusion for more than 300 aluminum structure projects funded by the state of North Carolina between 2009 and 2018. Evidence showed that Brewbaker instructed a co-conspirator to submit non-competitive bids to NCDOT and to hide his bid rigging and fraud by varying the amount of inflated bids submitted. He also made clear to a co-conspirator that he would hide illegal conduct by deleting text messages he received about the conspiracy.
“Activities related to collusion, bid rigging and fraud do not promote an environment conducive to open competition, which harms the consumer,” said Executive Special Agent in Charge Ken Cleevely of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General. “Along with the Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement partners, the USPS Office of Inspector General will aggressively investigate those who would engage in this type of harmful conduct.”
Brewbaker was convicted of conspiring to rig bids, conspiring to commit fraud, three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for conspiring to rig bids and 20 years in prison for each of the other counts.
Contech previously pleaded guilty to one count of bid rigging under Section One of the Sherman Antitrust Act and one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. Contech agreed to pay a criminal fine of $7 million and restitution to NCDOT in the amount of $1,533,988.
The Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section prosecuted this case, which was investigated with the assistance of the USPS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina also provided support throughout the investigation and trial.