Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


IL Man Debarred Over Bridge Bearings

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Comment | More

Over two years since his initial sentencing for making false statements about highway projects, Joel De La Torre, a Chicago-based product supplier, was also debarred in late May from doing business with the federal government until Dec. 27.

On April 21, 2016, De La Torre was sentenced in the U.S. District Court of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 35 months in federal prison, three years of supervised release and $21,509 in restitution for the aforementioned false statements, as well as aggravated identity theft.

Case History

The case dates to October 2011, when a federal highway contractor discovered a defect in a group of elastomeric bearings shipped for use on bridges in North Carolina. Additional investigation by the North Carolina Department of Transportation found "systematic problems" with the bearings, some of which had been installed on bridges throughout the state.

©iStock.com / Marilyn Nieves

Over two years since his initial sentencing for making false statements about highway projects, Joel De La Torre, a Chicago-based contractor, was also debarred in late May from doing business with the federal government until Dec. 27.

The defective bearings had exposed steel plates, subjecting them to the elements and creating the potential for deterioration. A total of 1,270 bearings shipped for use in 25 different highway projects between May 2009 and October 2011 were found to be "nonconforming and defective," according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

NCDOT found that many of the bridge bearings came from a company called Delgado Elastomeric Bearings Corp. in the Chicago area. Several online records show the principal of that company as Jennifer Delgado, although Walker's announcement refers to de la Torre as the "manufacturer" of the parts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation conducted a separate criminal investigation and discovered that the North Carolina application to supply the bearings had been forged. The name of a teenager was fraudulently used on the application.

The investigation revealed that de la Torre forged the teenager's name, authorities said. An inspection of the manufacturing facility in Chicago found that the facility didn't have the required testing devices and machinery that would have shown the defects in the parts.

Follow-up

According to the U.S. DOT Office of the Inspector General, costs associated with replacing these bearings are expected to exceed $5 million, due to the difficulty of removing them from existing structures, as well as expenses connected with engineering and traffic control.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Contracts; Criminal acts; Department of Transportation (DOT); Ethics; Fraud; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


Advertisements
 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

 
DeFelsko Corporation

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.

 
Sauereisen, Inc.

 
Strategic Materials Inc.

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us