April 9, 2019

Insulation contractor faces sentencing for bid rigging and fraud

A high-ranking employee at an Oxford insulation contracting business pleaded guilty Monday to rigging bids and engaging in fraud in connection with insulation installation contracts.

Prosecutors allege that hospitals, universities, businesses and others paid more than they should have for work because of the scheme, which is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Gary DeVoe, of Bethlehem, entered the plea in a proceeding in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport. He is branch manager for the New England Division of BC Flynn Contracting Corp., according to the company's website. The company has offices on Morse Road in Oxford and in New York state.

DeVoe faces potential prison time and fines and must pay restitution. Guidelines call for him to be sentenced to between 63 and 78 months in prison, court documents show. His sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, DeVoe agreed to settle a pending forfeiture action on his home for $131,000 and to forfeit all of his seized bank accounts.

Company officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment following the plea.

Court documents allege that from approximately October 2011 until March 2018, DeVoe conspired with other insulation installation contractors to rig bids and engage in fraud on insulation installation contracts in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.

These contractors installed insulation around pipes and ducts on renovation and new construction projects at universities, hospitals and other public and private entities, according to the government.

John Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, said DeVoe participated in a long-running conspiracy among insulation contractors.

"They cooked up collusive bids, shared bid numbers with their competitors and communicated with co-conspirators via encrypted messaging apps, all in an effort to line their own pockets and their companies' bottom lines," Durham said in a press release. "The real victims are the hospitals, universities and businesses that were duped into paying corruptly inflated bids on $45 million worth of insulation jobs throughout New England."

Brian C. Turner, special agent in charge of the FBI's New Haven field office, said consumers deserve the benefits of competitive prices and higher quality products and services.

"For years, the defendant illegally coordinated bids on construction projects in order to enhance his own profits, eliminate competition, and ultimately steal from both public and private customers," Turner said.

Attorney Richard Lynch of New Haven, who is representing DeVoe, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at msullo@newhavenbiz.com

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