Mechanical Contractor’s Project Manager Admits Role in Change Order Fraud Scheme | USAO-CT

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DON C. RICHARDS, 53, of Milford, waived his right to be charged and pleaded guilty today before the District Judge American Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport on a conspiracy charge stemming from his involvement in a fraudulent construction project scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Richards was a senior project manager at a Massachusetts-based mechanical contractor. From November 2014 to February 2018, Richards conspired to defraud his employer and project owners by inflating change orders on certain projects he managed. As part of this plot, a co-conspiring contractor, who was the director of an insulation company, made payments to Richards and also for Richards’ benefit, including gift cards and funds for a golf club membership. Richards and the co-conspirator submitted inflated change orders to Richards’ employer to offset some of the costs of the payments the co-conspirator made to Richards.

Richards pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. He agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $396,966.

Richards was arrested on October 19, 2021. He is released on $100,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 5.

This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang, with assistance from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, New York office.

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