AP NEWS

Connecticut man pleads guilty to bid-rigging, fraud on insulation contracts

April 9, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — A branch manager at a Connecticut-based insulation business pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to bid-rigging and fraud on insulation contracts.

In a prepared statement, Department of Justice officials said Gary DeVoe, of Bethlehem, “conspired with other insulation installation contractors to rig bids and engage in fraud on insulation installation contracts in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts” between October 2011 and March 2018.

U.S. Attorney John H. Durham said the scheme involved bogus bids totaling tens of millions of dollars.

“This defendant participated in a long-running conspiracy among insulation contractors in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York,” Durham said. “They cooked up collusive bids, shared bid numbers with their competitors and communicated with co-conspirators via encrypted messaging apps, all in an effort to line their own pockets and their companies’ bottom lines. The real victims are the hospitals, universities and businesses that were duped into paying corruptly inflated bids on $45 million worth of insulation jobs throughout New England.”

The statement did not identify DeVoe’s company, but as of Monday evening, Gary DeVoe was listed as a Senior Branch Manager for the New England Region on the website of BC Flynn, a contractor with offices in New York and Oxford, Conn.

A message seeking comment was left at the business late Monday.

The charges to which DeVoe pleaded guilty carry maximum penalties of up to 30 years behind bars, according to federal prosecutors, who said DeVoe has also agreed to pay restitution and forfeit seized bank accounts.

“Today’s conviction is the result of a coordinated effort between the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners to root out collusion and fraud that undermined the competitive process and defrauded hospitals, schools and other victims out of millions of dollars,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division said in the statement. “Contractors who conspire to deceive and defraud their customers will be prosecuted.”

“I commend the FBI, DCIS and the Antitrust Division for uncovering this brazen scheme and their ongoing efforts to bring its perpetrators to justice,” Durham said.

“Free and open markets are the foundation of a vibrant economy. For years, the defendant illegally coordinated bids on construction projects in order to enhance his own profits, eliminate competition and ultimately steal from both public and private customers,” Brian C. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s New Haven Field Office, said. “The FBI is committed to preventing this conduct that restricts all construction firms from receiving an opportunity to bid and receive contracts. Consumers deserve the benefits of competitive prices, higher quality products, services and greater innovation.”

“Collusion and bid rigging seriously undermine the integrity of public contracting processes,” Special Agent-in-Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Northeast Field Office said. “DCIS will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who deprive the benefits of competitive contracts and divert tax payer funds.”

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, the FBI’s New Haven Division, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

Anyone with information in connection with this investigation is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s New York Section at 212-335-8035, or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html .