by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: News
at 04:00 PM | Permalink
Company, executive plead guilty to rigging bids to provide traffic cones
A Cincinnati-based company and one of its top executives
have pleaded guilty to circumventing Ohio’s competitive bid process, a
move the state’s top lawyer said cheated taxpayers out of tens of
thousands of dollars.
Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that
Quattro Inc. pleaded guilty to two felonies while sales manager Timothy
O’Brien pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors. The pleas were made in
exchange for cooperation with the investigation.
The company was charged with submitting multiple bids on
road jobs under different company names, creating the illusion of a
competitive process while really manipulating the price they’d be paid.
They were supposed to provide traffic control devices, such as arrow
signs, orange barrels and cones.
The company pleaded guilty to one count of entering into
an unlawful combination contract, and one count of attempting to engage
in a pattern of corrupt behavior. It agreed to pay $42,796 in penalties
O’Brien pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in a
conspiracy against trade and agreed to pay $5,872 in penalties and
The charges were the first in almost three decades brought under Ohio’s antitrust statute, the Valentine Act.