Friday, May 24, 2024

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Bids Rigged for Contracts at New Stratford High School

by Thomas Yates

Four companies that bid for HVAC and PLG Contracts at the new Stratford High School all pled Guilty in Federal Court.

Three were from Connecticut and another from Massachusetts..  The companies rigged the bids so one would get one of the bided jobs, and another would get the next one, keeping the price of the contracted bids above the normal bids so everyone made money.

It was State wide from Schools to Buildings to Hospitals all four were ordered to pay fines an restitutions and owners were sentenced to jail times.

At Stratford High the HVAC bid went to B C Flynn for $722,486, and the PLG bid went to Lanagan for $305 K.

Just wondering if our Mayor is aware of this and how much Money will Stratford get Back

Stratford High School (PLG) 2017-04 Langan $305,000 Town of Stratford

According to Connecticut Construction Industry News and Information the Town of Stratford granted a bid to one of the Connecticut construction contractors that were among those imprisoned and fined in expansive state-wide bid-rigging conspiracy

A man authorities describe as part of a years-long conspiracy to rig bids at major construction projects across Connecticut has agreed to pay the government more than $300,000 in addition to serving five months in prison.

Gary DeVoe of Bethlehem is one of four men and three companies convicted of dividing up among themselves industrial insulation contracts at public and private construction projects valued at $39 million.

“The charged bid-rigging conspiracy occurred amongst individuals at competing insulation contractors seeking to allocate customers amongst insulation contractors and extract higher prices from project owners,” federal prosecutors said in court filings. “The aim of the bid-rigging was to fraudulently benefit all of the insulation companies, rather than directly lining the pockets of any particular individual.”

The jobs involved installing insulation around heating, cooling and duct systems at 34 new construction and renovation jobs. The government claims the rigged bids cost building owners more than $1 million in losses.

Thomas F. Langan, owner of Langan Insulation of North Haven, and the winner of the Stratford High School bid, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison; paid a $20,000 fine and $481,000 in restitution.

The conspirators used cell phones with masked registrations to conceal their conversations and used an encrypted and disappearing telephone messaging application, which prosecutors said investigators were unable to penetrate.

“Bid-rigging and fraud-based crimes, like the one perpetrated by Langan and the other contracters, are very difficult to detect and investigate,” federal prosecutors said in a memo filed with the court. “These crimes consist of secret agreements between individuals who are motivated to conceal their criminal activities. The difficulty in detecting these crimes is highlighted by the fact that these co-conspirators avoided detection for nearly seven years.”

During their conversations, prosecutors said the conspirators agreed on who would win bids and what the bid submissions would be. In some cases, they agreed to submit one or more inflated bids to create an appearance of competition.

The prosecutors said the conspirators used the “disappearing messaging application” to exchange “proposals, estimates, and other bid information.”

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