Saturday, September 11, 2010

That Ain't Right: Detroit Contractor Indicted for Bid Rigging and Fraud at My Former, and Now HOPE VI, Project.

From Crain's Detroit Business story HERE
Federal officials allege Ferguson and co-defendants Michael Woodhouse, president of Ferguson-owned XCEL Construction Services Inc., and Calvin Hall, vice president of XCEL, collaborated in preparing and submitting a proposal for XCEL to obtain an $11.7 million contract to act as construction manager for the infrastructure installation phase of Garden View Estates.

After securing the contract in 2007, Ferguson allegedly steered the primary contract to award more than $9 million of demolition, earthwork and utilities work to Ferguson’s Enterprises. He is also accused of recruiting and directing two other Michigan business owners to submit false, inflated bids to ensure that Ferguson’s Enterprises’ bid was lowest for that subcontract.

Co-defendant Shakib Deria, 42, of Troy is charged along with Ferguson with conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act, by making 19 sequential withdrawals of $9,500 each in order to obtain $171,000 in cash from the bank account of another Ferguson company, A&F Environmental/Johnson Construction Services. Deria is a Ferguson's employee and the vice president of the joint-venture company.

Ferguson, a friend and ally of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Ferguson’s Enterprises are also accused of illegally dumping truckloads of excavated soil, construction debris and other materials from other construction projects at Garden View Estates. Federal officials also allegedly found two pistols in Ferguson’s office during a January 2009 search of his company.

Ferguson has a 2005 criminal conviction for assault with intent to do great bodily harm for pistol-whipping Kennedy Thomas, a former Ferguson’s Enterprises employee.

Project (Google map view) is where I lived for 9 years in 1950's-60's, and was funded as HOPE VI all the way back in 1996, 14 years ago. 

Wikipedia says project originally had 2,144 units, and HOPE VI plan was/is for 833 units.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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