Indiana contractor pays $4.25 million over off-specification asphalt

by Ben Vernia | September 10th, 2020

On September 10, the Department of Justice announced that an Indiana-based road contractor had agreed to pay $4.25 million to settle civil allegations that the company lied about asphalt it provided for federally-funded construction projects. According to DOJ’s press release:

Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. (DOCI), an Indiana-based asphalt contractor, has agreed to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting to the government the materials that it was using to pave federally-funded roads in the state of Indiana, the Department of Justice announced today.  Under the settlement agreement, DOCI has agreed to pay over $4.25 million over a period of four years.    

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The settlement resolved allegations that in applying for government contracts, DOCI falsely represented the materials it would use to pave roads that are funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration.  Specifically, the government alleged that DOCI claimed that its hot mix asphalt mixture contained a sufficient amount of binder or glue to hold the mix together when, in fact, DOCI frequently failed to meet the minimal levels of binder required to pave the roads.  DOCI thereby allegedly created the false impression that its mixture met the contract requirements and that the roads would last a reasonable period of time before they would develop cracks and become unsafe for driving.

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The case apparently arose from a government investigation, and not from a whistleblower’s complaint.

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