Minnesota Concrete Company and its CEO Indicted for Rigging Bids for Public Contracts
Second Charge Filed for Long-Running Conspiracy that Targeted Local Governments and Public Schools in Minnesota
(STL.News) A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Kamida Inc., a Minnesota-based concrete repair and construction corporation, and its CEO, Steven Dornsbach, with participating in a conspiracy to rig bids for public concrete repair and construction contracts in the state of Minnesota.
According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Dornsbach and Kamida conspired to rig bids on concrete repair and construction contracts submitted to at least four municipalities in the state of Minnesota, including local governments and school districts in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, from at least as early as September 2012 and continuing through at least July 2017. Last year, Minnesota concrete contractor Clarence Olson pleaded guilty for his involvement in the conspiracy.
“Bid-rigging schemes that target local government contracts cheat taxpayers out of the benefits of competition,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “This indictment affirms the division’s commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the government procurement process at all levels of government.”
“For years, the defendants allegedly cheated their own communities by conspiring to rig bids on concrete repair and construction contracts for local governments and school districts,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “Bid rigging is not a victimless crime; it reduces competition and charges taxpayers the difference. This indictment shows that the FBI and our partners are committed to investigating those who try to cheat the system for their own gain.”
The defendants are each charged with a violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals, and a $100 million fine for corporations. The maximum fine for a Sherman Act charge may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office is prosecuting the case, which was investigated with the assistance of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.
In November 2019, the Department of Justice created the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), a joint law enforcement effort to combat antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes that impact government procurement, grant and program funding at all levels of government – federal, state and local.