Owner of Pittsburgh-Area Steel Erection Company Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States of More than $1M in Bridge Subcontracts
PITTSBURGH – A resident of Eighty-Four, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court for conspiracy to defraud the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer sentenced Donald R. Taylor, 78, to three years’ probation, a $30,000 fine, and 300 hours of community service.
Taylor previously pleaded guilty on October 30, 2017. In connection with his guilty plea, Taylor, the owner of Century Steel Erectors Co. (CSE), admitted that he conspired with Watson L. Maloy, Jr. to use Maloy’s company, W.M.C.C. Inc. (WMCC), as a "front" company to illegally obtain federally funded subcontracts on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) bridge projects. As part of his guilty plea, Taylor further admitted that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), through the Federal Highway Administration, required PennDOT and the PTC to implement USDOT’s disadvantage business enterprise (DBE) program, which was designed, among other things, to promote participation of minority-owned small businesses in federally funded projects. Because CSE was not a certified DBE subcontractor, Taylor and Maloy agreed that they would use WMCC as a means to obtain DBE-eligible bridge subcontracts. Contrary to DBE requirements, however, Taylor admitted that CSE employees, acting at his direction, actually identified, bid, negotiated, and performed the work on DBE-eligible subcontracts. As a means to conceal CSE’s role in handling contracts awarded to WMCC, Taylor admitted that CSE employees used a WMCC email account and phone line, used magnetic WMCC signs to cover the CSE logo on CSE vehicles at job sites, possessed WMCC business cards, and held themselves out as WMCC employees in dealings with general contractors and PennDOT and PTC officials. As a result, Taylor admitted that WMCC and CSE fraudulently obtained nine PennDOT subcontracts between approximately January 2012 and February 2014, resulting in payments to WMCC totaling approximately $1,065,000. In return, Taylor admitted that Maloy was paid a periodic "fee," ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 during the conspiracy.
At the time of his guilty plea, Taylor made full restitution in the amount of $85,221.21 to PennDOT.
Maloy previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti sentenced him to two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine on February 20, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorneys Robert S. Cessar, Eric G. Olshan, and Christy Criswell Wiegand prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation of Taylor and Maloy, with assistance from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission – Office of Inspector General.