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Contractor Couldn't Make Fraud Allegation Stick Where It Failed To Track Sub's Performance
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 03:48 am
Misrepresentation â€” Miller Act
Empire Enterprises JKB, Inc. v. Union City Contractors, Inc.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 88839 (September 25, 2009)
A general contractor claimed a subcontractor fraudulently overstated its work but had no tallies of its own to dispute the sub's meticulous records. Empire Enterprises JKB, Inc. (Empire) performed tree debris removal on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) project to clean up the Mount Morris Dam in Livingston County, New York. Empire claimed it was not paid for the total amount of floating debris it removed from the site and sought payment for the alleged balance due â€” $85,000. The general contractor, Union City Contractors, Inc. (Union City), contended that Empire knowingly inflated the quantity of debris.
Union City's contract with Empire did not include a maximum cubic yardage of material (the minimum was 2,500 cubic yards), and the contractor never disputed the amount of the invoices Empire submitted or the quantity of debris they billed for. Nevertheless, in court, Union City contended that the total amount Empire claimed to have removed â€” 11,470 cubic yards â€” differed too substantially from historical quantities of debris at the site to be accurate.
That argument failed since sufficient evidence at[...]