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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Electric Company Owner Indicted In Navy Exchange Procurement Fraud Scheme

Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Noe Rodriguez, age 33, of Boyds, Maryland, on charges arising from a scheme in which he allegedly failed to comply with federal wage, hour and records regulations under the Davis-Bacon Act. The indictment also charges Rodriguez with identity fraud and aggravated identity theft and charges Rodriguez and Maria Murillo, age 36, also of Boyds, with misuse of a social security number. The indictment was returned on November 18, 2013, and unsealed today upon the arrests of the defendants and the execution of a search warrant.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Bill Jones, U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, Washington Regional Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Alfred C. McGeachy of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Washington Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division.

Rodriguez owned RDZ Electric, LLC, a company that provided electrical work on construction projects in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Murillo acted as secretary of RDZ, and resided with Rodriguez. RDZ provided electrical work during the construction of the Navy Exchange (NEX) at the National Military Medical Center located in Bethesda, Maryland. The NEX was owned by the Department of the Navy.

RDZ was required to comply with federal wage, hour and records regulations under the Davis-Bacon Act. The Act required subcontractors such as RDZ to pay workers employed at the project site wages determined by the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor determined that the electrician’s prevailing wage rate at the NEX project was $50 an hour; and the electrical laborer’s wage rate was determined to be $16 an hour.

The indictment alleges that between August 2011 and June 2012, RDZ employed numerous electrical workers at the NEX project. Rodriguez allegedly listed no more than eight workers on RDZ=s certified payrolls, when in fact more than 30 workers were employed by RDZ and performed electrical work on the project. The indictment alleges that Rodriguez falsely certified on the payrolls that all RDZ employees were paid the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage, when in fact they were paid wages at least $1 million less than should have been paid pursuant to the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rate.

The indictment alleges that Murillo used the social security number assigned to another person to open a bank account and Rodriguez allegedly provided a false social security number on his Maryland driver’s license renewal application, knowing that the social security number belonged to his minor son.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $1 million, a vehicle, and all monies paid into four bank accounts controlled by Rodriguez between August 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012, for work performed by RDX on the NEX project.

Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of five counts of making a false statement; a maximum of 15 years in prison for using another person’s identifying information to commit fraud; and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft. Rodriguez and Murillo each face five years in prison for misuse of a social security number. The defendants had their initial appearances today in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt and were detained. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was formed in October 2006 to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force includes the United States Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrate the Department of Justice=s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Department of Labor - OIG, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Social Security Administration - OIG for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Paul Nitze, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015