Wall Township Contractor Sentenced for Fraudulently Billing State Agency for Fictitious Expenses Under Roofing Contract
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a roofer and his companies were today convicted of fraudulently billing the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (“PVSC”), a state agency, for $ 10,210 in fictitious expenses under contract with the agency. According to officials, Andrew J. Clark, 54, of Wall Township, and his companies are Roof Management, Inc. and A&S Enterprises, Inc., sentenced today by Essex County Supreme Court Judge Sharifa R. Salaam.
Officials said Clark had been sentenced to five years probation on the condition that he served 120 hours of community service. In addition, he was ordered along with his companies to pay refunds to the PVSC and pay an anti-corruption fine of $ 75,000.
Clark will be banned from all government or quasi-government contracts for a period of five years, and the two companies will be banned from such contracts for 10 years. On September 4, 2020, Clark pleaded guilty to a third-degree criminal charge for false payment claims for a government contract, officials said. Roof Management and A&S Enterprises pleaded guilty that day to second-degree false contract payments for a government contract.
By pleading guilty, Clark admitted that he falsely billed the PVSC for the equipment rental cost of $ 10,210, which he claimed was roof management made under the contract with the PVSC. In reality, there were no equipment rentals.
The PVSC disputed the rental cost of the equipment, but ended up paying $ 5,972 to settle that claim. “We are sending a loud and clear message to dishonest contractors that this type of crime does not pay,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are committed to using all available tools, including New Jersey’s strict criminal laws, to protect the integrity of public procurement and hold bad actors accountable.” “We will continue to work with government agencies to investigate public procurement fraud and prosecute dishonest operators who violate the law to increase their profits,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “We encourage anyone with information about government contract fraud to contact us confidentially at 1-844-OPIA-TIPS.” According to officials, in September 2017, the PVSC signed a two-year contract with Roof Management to perform roof repairs and improvements at the PVSC plant in Newark.
The PVSC is a government agency responsible for the management and regulation of the collection and disposal of wastewater generated in an area of four counties along the Passaic Valley basin, which covers parts of the counties of Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson. includes. Officials said that under the terms of the contract, if Roof Management needed additional equipment beyond what it agreed to provide to complete the work under the contract, it was entitled to reimbursement of documented expenses to rent such equipment.
As part of a $ 67,327 payment request filed with PVSC for roof repairs in a PVSC building, Clark, as owner and president of Roof Management, added an invoice for $ 10,210 claiming to reflect the costs charged by Roof Management Made for renting a variety of A&S Enterprises equipment, including roofing knives, floor mop trucks and floor mop sticks. When Clark submitted the bill for those charges to the PVSC, he did not disclose any affiliation with A&S. However, the PVSC questioned the cost and the fact that the address listed for A&S Enterprises matches a registered address for Roof Management. The PVSC referred the matter to the attorney general’s office.
The OPIA investigation revealed that A&S Enterprises is just a shell company founded by Clark and has no assets or equipment. All equipment used by Roof Management to perform the affected roof repairs was owned or owned by Roof Management. Attorney General Grewal established the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability in September 2018 to fight corruption and strengthen public confidence in government institutions.
In December 2019, the Attorney General issued a directive codifying OPIA and making it a permanent part of the Attorney General’s office.
That directive established the OPIA Corruption Bureau as the lead agency within the Department of Law & Public Safety for the investigation and prosecution of state criminal offenses related to corruption and abuse of public trust. OPIA has a free Tipline 1-844-OPIA-TIPS for the public to report corruption. The AG agency has an anti-corruption rewards program that offers a reward of up to $ 25,000 for tips that lead to a conviction for a crime involving public corruption. Information is posted on nj.gov/oag/corruption/reward.html.