Two owners of Carl M. Weber Steel Service, Inc. (Weber Steel), of Kutztown, PA, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office announced June 16, 2015.
The conspiracy charge states that Dennis Weber, president of Weber Steel, and Dale Weber, vice president, engaged in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation through DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program (DBE). Weber Steel, a bridge and highway construction contractor, was not a certified DBE, but set-up and utilized a sham DBE called Karen Construction Co., Inc. (Karen Construction) to obtain DBE subcontracts for bridge and highway construction.
From approximately April 1995 through November 2011, Karen Construction, posing as a DBE, obtained an estimated $18.7 million from approximately 224 federally-funded projects, when, in reality, it was controlled by Weber Steel, a non-DBE.
If convicted, defendants Dennis and Dale Weber each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, two years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment. Defendant Weber Steel faces a maximum sentence of five years of probation, a fine of up to $500,000, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by USDOT’s Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General/Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.