DBE Gross Receipts Increased to $26.9M

The US Department of Transportation issued a ruling today that increases the DBE size standard to $26.29M, effective January 13, 2021, for FTA and FHWA funded projects. The statutory gross receipts cap for certified DBEs specified in 49 CFR §26.65 is adjusted for inflation from $23.98 million to $26.29 million. This adjustment applies to the DBE program only.  If a …

Updated DBE & ACDBE Program Guidance During COVID-19

The US Department of Transportation released guidance documents addressing DBE and ACDBE program requirements during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on March 24, 2020 and April 1, 2020. This guidance was updated on November 25, 2020. The program requirements are now extended until June 30, 2021. Overall DBE Goal Methodology Public Participation – Agencies are required to include public participation …

The Ins and Outs of Certifications

Navigating the world of certifications can be very daunting. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, please click here to check out our latest video. Key areas covered in the video include:– Understanding the certification world– Eligibility requirements– Why should you get certified?– How to get your firm certified– Your role after certification

All ‘Native American’ DBE Certifications Under Review by DOT

The LA Times published an article by Paul Pringle and Adam Elmahrek, entitled “Minority contractors claiming to be ‘Native American’ to undergo nationwide review.” A portion of the article is listed below. Please see the LA Times for the full article. Federal, state and local authorities are intensifying scrutiny of minority contracting programs across the country in the wake of …

Business Owner with 10% Minority DNA Seeks US. Supreme Court Ruling

  Ralph Taylor, a Washington State business owner, is challenging the policies that determine eligibility for disadvantaged and minority status in state and federal incentive programs. After a DNA test showed that Taylor was 90 percent Caucasian, six percent American Indian and four percent sub-Saharan African decent, he submitted the results to Washington’s Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. …

Evans Landscaping Guilty On All Counts of DBE Fraud

A federal jury has found Doug Evans, owner of Evans Landscaping, and his vice president, Jim Bailey, guilty on all counts in a wire fraud case. Evans and Bailey were charged with committing wire fraud and misprision of a felony in setting up a dummy company, Ergon, to win minority contracts worth millions of dollars from the City of Cincinnati. …

Business Owner Pays $630K for DBE Fraud

Nicholas Rivecca Sr., owner of Sonag Ready Mix, LLC, has agreed to pay $629,732 to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by defrauding the United States Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The government alleges that Rivecca conspired to obtain a fraudulent DBE certification under the company, Nuvo Construction Company. With this certification, Rivecca obtained …

Contractor and Owner Debarred by FHWA after $2 Million DBE Fraud

Vertech International (Vertech) and its owner, Rajat Verma, were debarred on August 30, 2018 by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) after taking part in a $2 million scheme to defraud DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. This scheme caused Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to falsely award around $1.97 million in DBE credit. Read the full story here.

Man Uses Home DNA Test to Qualify as a Minority Business Owner … Did it Work?

Ralph Taylor, the owner of Orion Insurance Group, now considers himself to be multiracial based on the results of an at-home DNA test. This test estimated that Taylor was 90 percent Caucasian, six percent indigenous American and four percent sub-Saharan African. With these results, Taylor applied for state certification with the Washington Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE). …