Sunday, July 8, 2012

Broward County Inspector General Reports Construction Corruption

In a 77 page report released late last month, Broward County Inspector General John W. Scott charges three local construction companies conspired to cheat county government by using small business set asides improperly. Based on this report, County Administrator Bertha Henry has ordered the county attorney to pursue all available remedies to rectify the fraud.

According to Inspector General Scott’s report, Giannetti Contracting, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a contract to supervise construction of a $6.5 million sewer and water construction project in Dania Beach. Giannetti falsely claimed that certified small business Chin Diesel of Pembroke Pines worked on the project. Giannetti issued its check to Chin Diesel for $369,530.00. Although Chin Diesel was listed a subcontractor to Stanford & Sons Trucking, Stanford Trucking’s owner Stanford Amritt, Jr. attempted to pressure Leon C. Chin-You of Chin Diesel into depositing the check and taking money off the top when writing a check back to Amritt for most of the amount. Chin refused to cooperate in the scheme, and falsely claim his company worked on the job.

Giannetti replaced Chin with Spearhead Development Group of Miramar, owned by Amritt’s brother Donovan. Spearhead wrote a check to Stanford Trucking for everything Spearhead received from Giannetti on the project.

The net result is that no small business ever actually worked on the job, and Stanford profited from the fraudulent representations that the set aside was met. “The incidence of contractor misconduct, misrepresentation, falsehoods and scheming necessitates immediate attention by the county,” according to County Administrator Henry.

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