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Ethics & Corruption - Featured Headline
In Panama, Global Engineers Tackle Gigaproject Transparency
10/15/14
Engineers from around the world debated project transparency earlier this month in Panama City at an American Society of Civil Engineers conference.

Photo by Janice L. Tuchman for ENR


Stantec Buy of Quebec Designer Dessau Points to Province Market Strength, Despite Ethics Lapses
09/26/14
Observers see pent-up infrastructure needs even as officials weigh new procurement reforms.

Photo by Jean Gagnon/wikimedia Commons

More News
12/15/14 Former Louis Berger CEO Pleads Guilty to Overbilling Charge

Derish Wolff's fate has been unclear since his former company settled the potential charges against it in late 2010.
10/24/14 Superfund Project Manager Convicted in Bid-Rig Scheme Must Pay $4.36 Million

Ex-manager for contractor Sevenson was a key participant in a $1.5-million kickback deal with subcontractors at two NJ cleanups, the government contends.
08/01/14 U.S. Charges Steel Erector With Fraud on World Trade Center Work

The charges against Larry Davis, owner of DCM Erectors, revolve around the use of an MBE and WBE on the tower and train station.
07/22/14 Facing Mounting Interest, Pipeline Operator Agrees to Pay Costs

Dallas-owned pipeline compnay agrees to pay costs of a construction dispute as interest penalties mount.
07/14/14 Florida Disbands Expressway Authority Board

A grand jury has indicted two directors of the former Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority.
07/01/14 Beers, Burgers and a Bribe? The Case Against a Florida Expressway Official

A key element of a criminal prosecution is a CH2M Hill manager's description of an alleged bribe offer from an expressway authority director that led to an indictment.
05/06/14 Colorado Revokes Chubb Bond Fraud Defendant's License

Colorado suspended the license of Steve Stokeling, the defendant targeted with a partner by Chubb units for defrauding small contractors with fake surety bonds.
04/30/14 Contractor Structure Tone Agrees to Pay $55 Million in Fraud Plea

New York City interiors giant, with $3 billion in revenue, pleaded guilty to defrauding clients in an overbilling arrangement with subcontractors between 2005 and 2009.
04/30/14 Creating a Compliance Culture Lessens the Risk of Fraud

Experts says the median loss for construction fraud is about $300,000 per case.
03/12/14 VA Official Guilty Plea Involves Unnamed Design Firm

Federal prosecutors have not yet identified the integrated design firm with multiple offices from which a Veterans Affairs official claims he took bribes.
03/10/14 Ironworkers Union Takes Over Philadelphia Unit After Arrests

Majority of Local 401 members are "appalled and should not be branded by the actions of a few," says Walter Wise, president of the international.
02/26/14 Federal Charge: Violent Ironworkers' Local 401 Valued its 'THUGS'

According to U.S. criminal charges, the Philadelphia union local fended off nonunion contractors—and rival union carpenters—with a campaign of violent attacks, arson, intimidation and extortion.
02/25/14 AECOM, CH2M Hill Sewer Job Battle Is A Question of Arithmetic

While the two companies fight for the construction management contract, a fundamental difference revolves around how they count prior work.
02/17/14 Arthur J. Gallagher Backpedals on Surprise Individual Surety Offer by New Employee

A big brokerage firm reverses offer by a new employee of a recently acquired firm to place individual surety bonds with Edmund C. Scarborough.
02/05/14 Activists Wary of Long-Term Cost Impacts of Sochi Olympics

Environmentalists claim construction is harming the environment, mistreating immigrant workers and leaving Russians a big tab.
12/13/13 How Georgia School Officials Kept Design Contracts in the Family

Scheme included change orders without explanations, substitutions for other designers and an ineffective effort to keep anyone from finding out.
12/03/13 Pennsylvania Contractor Set for Dec. 13 Sentencing in Kickback Scheme with Developer

R.E. Crawford pleaded guilty in June to mail fraud in overbilling; former executive of mall developer Simon Property Group will be sentenced in March.
11/05/13 How Tennessee Contractors, Armed with Tougher Surety Law, Caught Forged Bonds

A small, minority-owned contractor prompted Memphis surety agents in 2011 to begin to push for a state law strengthening requirements.
11/04/13 New Forged Chubb Bonds Discovered, With Mounting Losses

The accused forgers failed to show up on court as small contractors in nine states sustain $3 million in losses.
09/10/13 Former Surety Bond Partners Distance Themselves from Melde Rutledge

At that time, they claim, Rutledge allegedly engaged in fraudulent bonding activity and forged the signature on bond documents of Diamond Indemnity Trust principal Darius X. Johnson.
09/10/13 Former Ohio County Engineer Reaches Ethics Settlement with State

David DeChristofaro, who left office nearly two years ago and is self-employed as a civil engineer, approved a settlement agreement in which he is reprimanded for being involved as county engineer with matters related to a lawsuit between the county and BECDIR, a firm owned by a business partner with whom he shares joint ventures in oil and gas wells in West Virginia.
08/27/13 After Mall Roof Collapse, Ontario Engineers Propose Inspection Standards

Ontario engineers recommend measures aimed at preventing future tragedies like last year’s fatal Ontario mall roof collapse.
08/01/13 More Small Contractors Lose Premiums on Fake Chubb Bonds

An informal, multi-state network of companies and brokers appears to be involved in fraudulently produced Chubb surety bonds and other controversial surety practices. Who is responsible remains unclear.
07/29/13 An Engineer Blows the Whistle on Itself to the World Bank

Australia's SKM reports evidence of improper payments by locals on SE Asia projects; in settlement, firm expands global ethics and won't be debarred.
07/26/13 Contractor Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Hide Assets From Safeco Surety

Marlin Weavier, owner of Conway, S.C.-based Weaver Co. Inc., went bust during a paving project and then used his family and a local pastor to hide assets.
07/26/13 South Africa Fines Contractors $151 Million for Bid Rigging

Officials have settled with 15 construction companies related to claims of 'collusive tendering' on an estimated $4 billion in projects, including six World Cup soccer stadiums.
07/17/13 Contrack To Pay U.S. $3.5M To Settle Alleged False Claims

Company denies the Justice Dept. allegations, which deal with USAID contracts in Egypt in the 1990s.
06/24/13 Australia Firm's Infractions in Indonesia Bring One-Year World Bank Project Ban

Engineer GHD says billing inflated costs and improper fees by its now-closed local units on a 2007 post-tsunami contract was an isolated practice.
06/18/13 Former Alberici Manager Charged In Alleged Kickback Scheme

The indictment alleges that the scheme occurred during Alberici’s contract for the upgrade and expansion of a water pollution control plant in 2006.
06/12/13 Testimony Shows Complex Roots of Deadly Mall Collapse

The owner of the Ontario mall whose roof section fell last June, killing two women, used an information technology consultant to contract for repairs carried out in 2008, witnesses testified.
06/12/13 Witness Notes Communication Lapse in Ontario Mall Collapse Testimony

Testimony at inquiry into a fatal collapse establishes that the engineering firm that inspected the roof prior to the collapse had a major communication lapse.
05/06/13 Ex-Willbros Consultant Sentenced for Nigerian Bribery

Case involves $6 million in 2003-2005 bribes related to Niger Delta pipeline project, Justice Dept. says.
04/11/13 Source of Forged Surety Bonds Remains Mysterious

A Maryland county takes steps to terminate a Navy project prime contractor after learning that Chubb surety bonds had been forged.
04/08/13 After Mumbai Collapse, Thousands of Illegal Buildings Still Stand

An estimated 2,000 illegal structures still stand in the neighborhood of the tragedy.
04/05/13 Ugandan Government Removes Chinese Firm From Large Hydro Project

Uganda canceled CWE's contract because the company falsified bidding document information.
04/03/13 NJ Design Firm Executives Face Pay-to-Play Charges

Judge allows Birdsall Engineering to access $1.6 million in state-seized assets for employee payroll as legal fight unfolds; hearing set for April 8 on bankruptcy issues, but state won't release names of donation recipients.
03/27/13 Grand Jury: How Pay-to-Play Flourished on Pennsylvania Turnpike

The contracts administrator allegedly used the lists of engineers and contractors to generate invitations to political fundraisers, and to contact vendors directly about their political participation.
02/27/13 A Bold Individual Surety Claims His Coal-Backed Bonds are Rock Solid

The biggest provider of individual surety bonds backs his bonds with hard-to-verify coal assets, and corporate surety wants to end the practice.
02/21/13 Edmund C. Scarborough's Federal Surety Cases

Completed or ongoing cases involving Scarborough and IBCS.
01/09/13 High-Stakes Las Vegas Stadium Gamble May Go Bust

A key land sale has been postponed due to fraud concerns for a $1.5-billion stadium proposed near Las Vegas.
12/21/12 Louis Berger Group Completes Compliance Overhaul

A two-year period of monitoring by federal prosecutors ends while, separately, former chairman Derish Wolff’s trial is set for May.
12/14/12 Another New York Concrete Test Firm Is Linked to Faked Results

Owner of American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories, and engineers, plead guilty to false results on big public and private buildings, says district attorney.
12/04/12 Montana Adds to Fines Against Alleged Surety Con Artist

No funds penalties have been collected from a man several states have penalized and is said to use different corporate names and aliases.
10/10/12 Houston Firm's Waterless Fracking Claims Questioned

Chimera Energy Corp., a Houston-based company that says it has developed a new, non-hydraulic shale oil-and-gas extraction technology, has offered little substance to bolster its claims.
09/19/12 More Firms Adopt Ethics Programs

Compliance is good for business and enhances recruiting and productivity, experts say.
07/31/12 Univ. of Ill. Voids Design Contract After Ethics Review

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voided a $4.6 million contract with a central Illinois architect to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest; that decision will soon cost them more than a million dollars.
06/18/12 World Bank Makes Debarment Decisions More Transparent

Bank's Sanctions Board for first time publishes its decisions on companies it is debarring for alleged fraud or corrupt practices. Those cited cannot take part in bank-financed projects for specified periods of time.
05/18/12 Ex-Army Corps Manager Pleads Guilty In Contract Bribery Case

U.S. Attorney says case involves "the largest bribery and bid-steering scheme in the history of federal contracting." Justice Dept. alleges ex-Corps officials, contractors inflated invoices and divided what they called the "overhead" amounts.
05/08/12 Terminated, Then Penalized? What Federal Agencies Can and Can't Do

Federal agencies have stepped up contract compliance enforcement actions, and they have the power to punish companies following terminations.
05/07/12 Watch Out for Traps in Evolving State Pay-to-Play Rules

A Washington, D.C. attorney urges caution to avoid running afoul of rules limiting goodwill and procurement lobbying.
05/07/12 N.Y. Contractor Lend Lease Signs $56-Million Overbilling Pact

U.S. contends the firm allowed padding of labor foremen’s time sheets to expedite project completion
04/30/12 Builder Lend Lease and Former NYC Manager Settle Federal Overbilling Charges

Company pays $56 million in fines and compensation and agrees to changed practices.
04/30/12 Quebec To Subpoena Witnesses in June in Contracting Bribe Probe

Hearings follow arrests of 15 municipal officials, design and construction managers and others on fraud charges.
04/23/12 Probe Raises Question About Mysterious Cost Basis of College Bids

A California community college awarded a contract in 2010 to a construction manager whose fee proposal was based on a higher construction value than its competitor, and a special review report asks why.
04/23/12 Ethics Probes Ramp Up for SNC-Lavalin

Canada's national police force raided the Montreal offices of engineer SNC-Lavalin on April 13, seeking information about missing funds allegedly used by former executives to procure work in Libya.
04/09/12 N.Y. Crane Collapse Trial Could Move to Judge Ruling Shortly

The defense of James Lomma, now under way, will introduce forensic engineers to dispute the prosecution's argument regarding Lomma's role in the fatal accident.
04/06/12 Ex-Head of Pa. Concrete-Beam Firm Convicted in DBE Fraud Case

Joseph Nagle, former CEO of Schuylkill Products Inc., convicted in what U.S. DOT says is the largest reported case of DBE fraud in the department's history.
03/27/12 After CEO Resigns, Millions of Dollars Still Missing

The review investigators, working for company directors, learned only that some or all of the $56 million was paid to agents.
03/26/12 Lafarge Penalized for Price Fixing, Manipulation

Lafarge Industries South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of French cement maker Lafarge, will pay $19.5 million penalty after admitting claims of price fixing and market manipulation in Southern Africa.
03/20/12 Harbert Companies to Pay $47M to Settle Bid-Rigging Claims

Agreement with companies—most of which reportedly are defunct— resolves allegations concerning USAID-funded sewer system project in Cairo built more than 15 years ago.
03/12/12 Feds: Prime Contractor Supplied Staff To WBEs on Chicago Bridge Project

In addition to purchasing materials on behalf of its subcontractor, the prime contractor allegedly transferred a superintendent, a foreman and craft workers onto the payroll of the subcontractors.
03/12/12 Federal Investigation Targets Chicago M/WBE Program

The city of Chicago pledges better M/WBE programs with improved oversight after federal prosecutors charge a subcontractor with serving as a front company on public works.
03/05/12 Efforts To Restart Libyan Projects Land SNC-Lavalin in Controversy

The Montreal-based firm announced the dismissal of its top construction executive Feb. 9 but has said nothing since then and the executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, is disputing the announcement and its hint about possible misconduct.
03/02/12 SNC-Lavalin Begins Investigation into Mysterious Payments of $35 Million

The big Canadian engineer dismissed two senior construction executives but has said little about the reasons or whether the mysterious payments relate to an alleged plot to smuggle Qaddafi's son into Mexico.
02/24/12 Ex-KBR CEO Sentenced for Bribery on Nigerian Contracts

Two others also sentenced in long-running investigation of $6 billion in contracts for liquified natural-gas project in Nigeria.
02/22/12 Lawyers Trade Contradictory Facts as N.Y. Crane Collapse Criminal Trial Restarts

A crane rental firm owner, James L. Lomma, faces homicide and other charges for his alleged role in accident that killed two construction workers.
01/16/12 Contractors Decry Suspensions by Detroit Water and Sewer Dept.

Federal government's RICO suit against former mayor inflicts collateral damage on DWSD service providers.
12/05/11 Contractor Insurance Issues Touched by Laws, Recession

The recession is killing off many smaller construction firms and surety losses are growing.
11/28/11 Following Paper's Inspection Probe, Caltrans Sacks Duo

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is structural sound, agency claims.
11/15/11 New Delays in Two High-Profile Construction Criminal Cases

Proceedings against former design firm Louis Berger CEO Derish Wolff and fatal crane collapsee firm CEO James F. Lomma delayed.
10/31/11 Ex-Berger Group CEO Charged With Overbilling Scheme

Former Louis Berger Group CEO Wolff Faces Federal Charges for Alleged Overbilling on Overseas Contracts. A tentative trial date is likely to be set at Nov. 9 arraignment.
10/31/11 Industry Firms Share Best Practices on Ethics and Compliance

Firms facing increased scrutiny share strategies for training thousands of employees on rules of ethics
10/27/11 Eleventh Hour Guilty Plea in Fatal Crane Case as Trial Looms

Co-defendant, crane owner's head mechanic, changes plea likely to avoid jail time.
10/20/11 U.S. Charges Ex-Berger Group CEO With Overbilling Scheme

Wolff alleged to have led plan to intentionally overbill for overhead charges on USAID contracts.
10/17/11 Cardno Entrix Pipeline Review Contract Raises Sticky Ethics Issues for Engineers

An engineering ethics expert says it isn’t and that engineers should avoid the possible appearance of conflict.
10/17/11 Two Corps Officials, Two Others Charged with Contract Fraud

The U.S. Attorney characterized the charges as “one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting.”
10/06/11 Two Corps Officials, Two Others Charged with Contracting Fraud

Indictment alleges that defendants fraudulently inflated invoices and were paid some of that money "directly and indirectly."
09/26/11 Crane Owner Criminal Trial To Start in November for Fatal Collapse

Equipment owner James Lomma faces several criminal charges.
09/26/11 Bogus Asbestos Abatement Training Firm Boss Sentenced

Albania DeLeon sent to federal prison for more than seven years and ordered to pay $1.2 million in back taxes and $369,015 in restitution.
09/23/11 Canada's SNC Lavalin Probed for Bid Corruption on Bridge Project

Canadian authorities confirm the probe but won't elaborate on raids at offices of the Montreal-based design firm.
09/12/11 Construction Firms Settle DBE Probe on Minneapolis Rail Job

Designer disagree with U.S. Justice Dept. statement that engineers were involved in the settlement or had role in finished project’s DBE activities.
07/25/11 Three Former Corps of Engineers Project Officials Indicted for Iraq Bribery

The new charges, unsealed on July 14, expand the list of defendants and their alleged offenses brought in a criminal complaint last October.
06/20/11 Fluor Hanford Unit to Pay $4M to Settle Alleged False Claims, Kickbacks

A Fluor spokesman says company did not knowingly submit false claims or receive kickbacks related to purchases at the Hanford nuclear site.
06/13/11 As Fire Trial Prosecution Rests, Execs' Defense Raises Issues

Legal
06/08/11 Houston Port Exec’s Contract With AECOM Draws Scrutiny

Investigators in Harris County, Texas, are probing a possible conflict of interest regarding a prior consulting link between a top Port of Houston Authority official and Los Angeles-based design-builder AECOM Technology Corp., which does work for the agency.
05/11/11 Interiors Firms Charged Again

Acontinuing crackdown on fraud in New York City's interiors-renovation sector has netted its latest result: the May 4-5 indictments of Manhattan-based construction manager Lehr Construction Corp. and four of its executives as well as six area subcontractors and their owners in a contractor-bid inflation scheme that prosecutors say overcharged clients by $30 million in the last decade and cheated “their honest competitors out of valuable construction jobs.”
05/06/11 Six New York City Subs and CM Firm Indicted in Latest Interiors Renovation Fraud Probe
04/06/11 Skanska Settles DBE Inquiry With $19.6-Million Payment
03/03/11 Turner Construction Caught Up In New York City Cost Dispute
02/16/11 U.K. Government Delays Implementation Of Anti-Corruption Rules
01/12/11 Trial Postponed for Defendants In Fatal Ground Zero Fire
01/12/11 Bovis, New York City Deal Ends Unofficial Pay Practice
01/06/11 Bovis Agrees to Pay NYC $5 Million For Overcharges
12/07/10 Ex-KBR Exec Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge
12/01/10 Fraud, MBEs And Justice
11/29/10 Schiavone Agrees to $23-Million Settlement for MBE Fraud
11/24/10 Ex-Carpenters’ Chief in New York City Gets 11 Years for Racketeering
11/17/10 Uncalculated Risks
11/17/10 EPA Subpoenas Halliburton For Data on ‘Hydrofracking’
11/10/10 The Whistle-Blower Behind The Louis Berger Settlement
11/05/10 U.S. Settles Case Against Berger Group for $69 Mil
10/27/10 Defendants in Fatal Ground Zero Fire Face Manslaughter Trial in January
10/20/10 Former Corps Engineer Charged With Bribery on Iraq Projects
10/06/10 Council To Dictate Apprentice’s Fate
09/15/10 Matrix Services Launches An Internal Fraud Probe
08/25/10 Crackdown Adds To Contractor Perils
08/18/10 Probe Leads to Wolff's Likely Exit From Berger
07/07/10 French Contractor Technip To Pay $338 Million To Settle Nigeria LNG Project Bribery Allegations
05/12/10 New Bill Proposes Stiff Penalties For Willful Safety Violations
04/07/10 Civil Engineers Pushes DVD As Core of New Campaign
03/31/10 Former NYC Crane Inspector Pleads Guilty To Falsifying Safety and Exam Records
03/31/10 U.K. Arrest Three Alstom Directors for Bribes
03/03/10 New York Concrete Testing Firm Found Guilty of Racketeering
02/24/10 Former STV and URS Executive Faces Charges for Fraud
02/18/10 Prosecutors Search for Possible Fraud Behind Cologne Rail Project Errors
02/03/10 New York CM Firm Indicted in Client Bilk Scheme
01/08/10 PBSJ Corp. Overseas Unit's Contracting Being Probed
01/06/10 Top DOE Spending Official Cleared of Abuse of Power
01/06/10 Top DOE Spending Official Cleared of Abuse of Power
12/02/09 Graft Investigators Are Named In Operating Engineers Case
10/14/09 U.K. Recruiters Face Big Fines
08/12/09 Controversy Over Old Job Costs Hardin Construction New Work
07/15/09 U.K. Bridge Maker Is First To Be Cited
07/15/09 Two Plead Guilty To Supplying Faulty Concrete to CA/T Project
07/10/09 U.K. Bridge Firm Admits Overseas Corruption
05/27/09 Stimulus Windfall Could Boost Fraud
05/13/09 Corps of Engineers Official Indicted On Corruption Charges in Iraq
05/06/09 U.S. Valve-Firm Executives Indicted for Global Bribery
04/23/09 Internal Review Clears Society of Ethics Violations
04/22/09 Illinois Boosts Project Funding But Not Without Major Reform
04/22/09 Probe of New York Utility Yields Two More Construction Arrests
04/15/09 Internal Review Clears Society of Ethics Violations
04/09/09 ASCE Ethics Committee Clears Staff and Members
04/01/09 Brazilian Kickback Probe Hits Contractor's Executive Suite
01/28/09 World Bank Debars Seven Contractors
01/23/09 World Bank Debars Seven Contractors On Philippine Roadbuilding Project
01/23/09 Shaw Group Unit Fined $6.2 Million For Recordkeeping Improprieties
01/21/09 Con Ed Construction Officials Arrested in Contractor Scheme
01/15/09 NYC Utility Employees Arrested in Contractor Bribe Scheme
01/05/09 Rigger Faces Manslaughter Charges In Deadly NYC Tower Crane Collapse
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