Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song announced Tuesday the owner of Century Steel Erectors Co. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Seventy-eight-year-old Donald R. Taylor of Pennsylvania conspired with the owner of W.M.C.C. Inc. to obtain federally funded subcontracts on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation bridge projects. Watson L. Maloy, Jr. agreed to allow Taylor to utilize his company as a “front” company, according to court documents.
Taylor admitted that the USDOT, through the Federal Highway Administration, required PennDOT and the PTC to implement USDOT’s Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The program was specifically designed to promote participation of minority-owned small businesses in federally funded projects.
Century Steel Erectors was not a certified DBE subcontractor, so Maloy and Taylor agreed they would utilize W.M.C.C. to obtain the DBE-eligible bridge subcontracts.
Taylor admitted that he directed his employees to identify, negotiate, bid and perform the work on DBE-eligible subcontracts. To avoid detection, Taylor utilized W.M.C.C.’s phone line, email account, magnetic business signs and business cards.
From January 2012 and February 2014, Taylor was able to secure nine PennDOT subcontracts, resulting in payments of about $1,065,000. Taylor periodically paid Maloy anywhere from $2,000 and $10,000.
As part of his guilty plea, Taylor has agreed to pay PennDOT $85,221.21 in restitution. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2018. He faces a maximum 5-year prison term and/or a $250,000 fine.
Maloy is scheduled to be sentenced on January 23, 2018.