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False Credentials Lead to Settlement

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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HARTFORD, CT--An engineering firm will pay $390,000 for allegedly failing to verify the background of an unqualified employee who worked on state and federal transportation projects.

Garg Consulting Services Inc. agreed June 22 to settle with the State of Connecticut and the U.S. government to resolve the allegations.

According to a statement from the U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG), Garg hired Barry Kenneth Purnell Jr. to work on various projects for the Connecticut and U.S. Departments of Transportation. However, officials later learned Purnell was not qualified to do the work he was assigned.

Garg Consuling Services Inc.

Garg Consulting Services Inc. has agreed to pay the federal government and the State of Connecticut $390,000 for not screening an employee who falsified his engineering credentials.

No Degree, No Certification

Purnell had stated on his resume that he had a college degree in civil engineering management and held an Engineer-In-Training certification from the State of Connecticut. In fact, he had neither, the statement said.

Purnell pleaded guilty in February to charges related to a scheme to obtain employment as a consultant bridge inspector under false pretenses. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July in Connecticut Superior Court.

According to the OIG, Garg submitted state and federal project proposals with Purnell’s false credentials in order to meet the qualifications for those projects. Later, Garg submitted payroll invoices on which the company indicated that it had paid Purnell for his work on ConnDOT projects and on an Amtrak bridge reconstruction project.

Garg Consuling Services Inc.

Garg hired Barry Kenneth Purnell Jr. as an engineer to work on an AMTRAK bridge reconstruction project and various ConnDOT projects. Purnell pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges related to his scheme to find employment by stating he was educated as an engineer.

Company Did Not Screen

In the civil court case, the state and federal governments said Garg never conducted appropriate employee screening before hiring Purnell. Had the company done that screening, it would have discovered that Purnell did not have the degree and did not hold—nor ever sought—the state certification, according to the OIG statement.

Garg specializes in engineering services for railroads, mass transit systems, highways, bridges, buildings and other special structures, according to its website. The company has offices in Rocky Hill, CT, and Cherry Hill, NJ.

The federal government will receive $312,706, while Connecticut will get $77,294 of the settlement.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Department of Transportation (DOT); Engineers; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Federal Railroad Administration; Transportation

Comment from MC Skinitis, (7/1/2015, 6:01 AM)

This is amazing. Still more amazing is the fact that those running the White House, were also never vetted! Who do we sue for that?

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