$692K DBE Fraud Settlement The Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement Project
Defendants Repeatedly Failed to Disclose That a Non-DBE Subcontractor Performed Work Exclusively Attributed to Their DBE
The United States filed and settled a civil fraud lawsuit against NAUGHTON ENERGY and two of its owners, its president, MARIETTE NAUGHTON, and her husband, JOSEPH NAUGHTON. NAUGHTON ENERGY, a Pennsylvania-based fuel distributor, supplied diesel fuel to vehicles and equipment used in connection with the federally funded New NY Bridge Project (the “NNYB Project”), a construction project to replace New York’s Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge. The settlement resolves the United States’ allegations in a False Claims Act lawsuit that Defendants fraudulently caused the submission of false claims by causing the prime contractor to misrepresent compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) rules, which require participation of businesses owned by women and minorities.
Specifically, the United States alleged that NAUGHTON ENERGY, MARIETTE NAUGHTON, and JOSEPH NAUGHTON misrepresented to the Prime Contractor that NAUGHTON ENERGY was solely performing millions of dollars of work on the Project when in fact much of that work was performed by a non-DBE subcontractor. As part of the settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, NAUGHTON ENERGY, MARIETTE NAUGHTON, and JOSEPH NAUGHTON admit and accept responsibility for conduct alleged in the Government’s complaint and, pursuant to the terms of a settlement based on their ability to pay, have agreed to pay $692,000 over the next five years to the United States.