U.S. attorney's office investigates $19M over-billing scheme

The courthouse, bankruptcy court and post office on Tillary Street have something in common. These city agencies all fell victim to an over-billing scheme, according to the U.S. attorney's office.Bovis Lend Lease is charged with defrauding clients for 10 years. Through this scheme, dozens of foremen were allegedly paid unearned overtime daily, plus pay for sick and vacation time that they weren't entitled to. This added up to $19 million over a 10-year period. The scheme could have gone on even longer if an internal whistle blower had not reached out to investigators. The U.S. attorney's office investigated the scheme for three years, during which time they uncovered more business fraud. Investigators say Bovis Lend Lease won contracts under the pretense that the company worked with minority businesses, but Bovis just used its own employees.The U.S. attorney's office says James Abadie, former principal in charge at the time of the scheme, pleaded guilty to fraud charges and faces up to 20 years in prison. All top executives have resigned or been fired. The criminal investigation is still ongoing.

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