Executive convicted of rigging North Carolina transportation jobs

A former engineering company executive has been convicted of fraud and bid-rigging conspiracy for hundreds of North Carolina Department of Transportation projects over nearly a decade.

Jurors after a week-long trial found Brent Brewbaker guilty on six counts, according to a US Justice Department press release and court documents. Brewbaker, a former Ohio-based Contech Engineered Solutions LLC executive, faces sentencing on April 12, the statement said.

Prosecutors said a jury determined Tuesday that Brewbaker participated in conspiracies to rig bids and submit false certifications of non-collusion involving 300 state-funded aluminum structure projects between 2009 and 2018. According to evidence, according to the statement, Brewbaker had a co-conspirator submit non-competitive bids to the state DOT and hide what was happening by varying the amount of inflated bids presented at the top.

Contech had previously pleaded guilty to one count of bid-rigging under federal Sherman Antitrust Act and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, prosecutors said. Contech agreed last June to pay a $7 million fine as well as a $1.5 million restitution to the state DOT.

Brewbaker faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the bid-rigging conspiracy and 20 years on each of the other counts, the Justice Department said.

An email sent Friday to Brewbaker’s attorney seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said the sentencing sends the message that with massive spending on infrastructure projects about to begin, the Justice Department’s antitrust division is committed to “holding responsible leaders who target state and local governments with their bid-rigging and fraud schemes.” President Joe Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law in November.

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