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Cleveland Construction Fraud Lawyes

Contractor Defense in Ohio

Fraud occurs when a person deceives another to unlawfully obtain money or goods. Typically, such schemes involve misrepresentation or omission of material facts that the other individual relies on when deciding to enter into a contract or transaction with the person committing the fraud. When the conduct involves a contractor or construction company hired to work on government buildings such as post offices, airports, or courthouses, the offense is a federal crime referred to as construction fraud. Depending on the facts of the case, the criminal penalties for construction fraud are harsh. If you’re facing accusations for this offense, it’s essential that you hire a skilled and knowledgeable attorney.

At HMW Law, we have over 75 years of combined experience and know how to effectively navigate the federal justice process. Our construction fraud attorneys in Cleveland recognize the amount of time and effort the federal government puts into investigating and prosecuting cases such as yours. That is why we will expend our resources and explore every legal option to fight your charge. We can work tirelessly to seek a favorable result on your behalf.

Types of Construction Fraud

Various stages are involved in bringing a federal construction project from concept to completion. At any one of the steps, the contractor or a construction company employee can make misrepresentations that compromise the project’s integrity and may be committing fraud.

Common types of construction fraud include:

  • Bid rigging: This is when contractors, submitting competing bids for a project, are actually working together and have agreed in advance who will win the bid.
  • Conflict of interest: A government official may award a contract to a company because they have a financial interest in the company and not because of the quality of work that will be performed.
  • Debris removal misrepresentation: A contractor might claim that they had to remove construction debris from the site and charge the government for the work. However, in reality, no such removal was performed.
  • Overcharging: This occurs when a contractor claims they have used more material than they actually have and charges the government for all materials. A contractor may also be accused of committing the offense when they bill the government for more work hours than were actually put into the project.
  • Using substandard materials: In some cases, a contractor may tell the government they are using quality construction materials, but in reality, they are using defective or out-of-code products. Regardless, the contractor bills the government for the higher-quality materials.

Construction projects are complex, requiring a significant amount of paperwork and records to keep track of everything that went into them. A misstep or miscalculation could lead to a federal investigation for construction fraud. If you find yourself accused of such an offense, reach out to HMW Law as soon as possible. We believe preparation is the key to building a solid defense strategy, and our Cleveland construction fraud lawyers can meticulously review all reports and relevant information to tell your side of the story accurately.

Penalties for Construction Fraud

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1031, any person who engages in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Government can be fined up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years. However, in certain circumstances, the fine amount can be increased.

Additionally, other federal charges are usually levied in conjunction with construction fraud. For instance, if the defendant allegedly used email to communicate with another contractor as part of a bid-rigging scheme, they may also be charged with wire fraud. Thus, upon conviction, they may face criminal penalties for both offenses.

Put Over 7 Decades of Combined Experience on Your Side

A lot is at stake when you’re facing a federal charge. That’s why it’s necessary to retain the services of a lawyer who will do what it takes to protect your rights. At HMW Law, our Cleveland construction fraud attorneys can work extremely hard for you and fight aggressively on your behalf.