Project Manager for Mechanical Contractor Admits Role in Change Order Fraud Scheme
Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DON C. RICHARDS, 53, of Milford, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to a conspiracy charge stemming from his involvement in a construction project fraud scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Richards was a senior project manager at a Massachusetts-based mechanical contractor. From November 2014 through February 2018, Richards conspired to defraud his employer and the project owners by inflating change orders on certain projects he was managing. As part of this conspiracy, a co-conspirator subcontractor, who was a principal of an insulation company, made payments to Richards and also for Richards’s benefit, including gift cards and funds for a golf club membership. Richards and the co-conspirator submitted inflated change orders to Richards’s employer to offset some of the costs of the payments the co-conspirator made to Richards.
Richards pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. He has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $396,966.
Richards was arrested on October 19, 2021. He is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 5.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang, with assistance from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, New York Office.