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Office of Quality Compliance & Review

Fraud Awareness - Begins With You


Did You Know?

Fraud Awareness begins with citizens, contractors and employees being vigilant and reporting suspected fraud. We cannot be successful without your help.

A. Responsibilities of Agencies, Directors and Employees

1. Reporting of Information
Every state officer or employee in an Agency shall report promptly to the Inspector General any information concerning waste, corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest or abuse by another state officer, employee or vendor relating to his or her employment. The knowing failure of any officer or employee to so report shall be cause for discipline, up to and including discharge. The knowing provision of false information to the Inspector General by any officer or employee shall be cause for discipline, up to and including discharge. Any officer or employee who in good faith acts pursuant to this paragraph by reporting to the Inspector General improper governmental action shall not be subject to dismissal, discipline or other adverse personnel action.

2. Duty to Cooperate

a. Each Agency and every officer and employee, shall cooperate with, and provide assistance to, the Inspector General and her or his staff in the performance of any investigation. In particular, each Agency shall make its premises, equipment, personnel, books, records, and papers readily available to the Inspector General. The Inspector General or his/her staff may enter upon the premises of any Agency at any time, without prior announcement, if necessary to the successful completion of an investigation. In the course of an investigation, the Inspector General may question any officer or employee serving in, and any other person transacting business with, the Agency, and may inspect and copy any books, records, or papers in the possession of the Agency, including those made confidential by law, taking care to preserve the confidentiality of information contained in responses to questions or books, records, or papers that is made confidential by law.

b. The Inspector General may compel any employee in an Agency to truthfully answer questions concerning any matter related to the performance of his or her official duties. If so compelled, no statement or other evidence derived there from may be used against such employee in any subsequent criminal prosecution other than for perjury or contempt arising from such testimony. The refusal of any employee to answer questions if compelled to do so shall be cause for discipline, up to and including discharge.

Protection from Retaliation

No officer, employee or appointee in any Agency shall retaliate against, punish, or penalize any person for complaining to, cooperating with, or assisting the Inspector General in the performance of her or his duties. Any officer, employee or appointee who violates this provision shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.


Major Fraud Investigations conducted by IDOT and Federal Authorities

Palumbo Brothers

6 year investigation conducted by IDOT auditors, USDOT Office of Inspector General and FBI lead to the conviction of 4 individuals involved in construction fraud.

Shah Engineering, Inc.

During a routine audit of Shah Engineering, Inc., IDOT auditors discovered a multifaceted scheme to launder money and inflate labor and overhead expenses. Following a 2 year investigation by IDOT auditors, USDOT Office of Inspector General, FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in Springfield, Manu Shah was convicted and sentenced to 41 months in prison and required to pay back $10.5 million in fines and restitution to 11 different agencies.

African American Contractors Association

During an audit of an IDOT contractor, IDOT auditors found that the contractor was fraudulently billing for business plans that they were allegedly creating for small DBE firms. Omar Shareef, President of AACA, was sentenced to 19 months in prison and ordered to pay back $164,000 following his fraud conviction.

Robert G. Sullinger/ Great Plains Advertising, LLC

A routine review by Division of Traffic Safety personnel of supporting documentation for project billings lead to further audit and investigation of Great Plains Advertising, LLC. It was found that the firm submitted false billings and overstated the number of billboards it produced for drunk driving campaigns. On March 30, 2009, Robert Sullinger, owner of Great Plains Advertising, was sentenced in federal court to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay over $500,000 in restitution.
 


Common Fraud Schemes

Fraud Scheme Description  
Bid Rigging & Collusion Contractors misrepresent that they are competing against each other when they actually agree to cooperate on the winning bid to increase job profit.
Materials Overcharging A contractor misrepresents how much construction material was used on a job in order to be paid for more material than was actually used.
Time Overcharging A contractor misrepresents the distribution of employee labor in order to charge for more work hours, or a higher overhead rate to increase profit.
Product Substitution A contractor misrepresents the type or quality of product used in order to reduce costs for construction materials.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Fraud A contractor misrepresents who performed the work in order to appear to be in compliance with contract goals for involvement of minority/women-owned businesses.
Quality-Control Testing Fraud A contractor misrepresents the results of quality control tests in order to limit costs or increase profits, earn contract incentives, or avoid project shutdown.
Bribery A contractor compensates a government official in exchange for obtaining contracts or permitting overcharges.
Kickbacks A contractor misrepresents the cost of performing work by secretly paying a fee for being awarded the contract and, therefore, inflating the cost to the government.
ARRA WhistleBlowers - Know your rights Whistleblowers who report fraud, abuse or mismanagement on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects are protected from retaliation by management


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