In this criminal case, in 1986 although the installation of individual water meters was required in commercial and industrial buildings, 630,000 one and two family homes were unmetered and billed for water on an arcane basis unrelated to usage and predicated on property frontage. The City decided to meter these homes and to do so through a municipal installation project rather than by requiring the individual homeowners to install them. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the City would use a competitive bidding process, and award contracts according to the boundaries of the City’s community boards. As is common in such contract bidding processes, the City prepared bid packages for prospective bidders. In addition to technical information and cost estimates, the bid package informed prospective bidders that they would be required to calculate labor costs in accordance with Labor Law Section 220, which requires contractors performing public works projects to pay the workers the prevailing wage. The bid packages let out in 1989 and 1990 also required that the contracting party would have to perform certain work known as pre-plumbing work. In essence, the contracts with the City would require that pre-plumbing work be supervised by a licensed master plumber.
After conducting pre-bid conferences, the City circulated an addendum to the bid specifications which set forth the specific wages that the bidders would be required to pay their employees. The defendants received this addendum. After the bids were publicly opened, the lowest bid was determined and the contracts were awarded to the defendants. The defendants executed formal contracts, to which were annexed the bid information and the wage schedules, which were also incorporated by reference. Each contract provided: The wages to be paid and the supplements to be provided, for a legal day’s work, to laborers, workmen or mechanics employed by the Contractor shall not be less than the prevailing wages and supplement required to be paid to such employees, as ascertained and prescribed by the Comptroller in the Specifications attached hereto.
A New York Grand Larceny Lawyer said that, the indictment charges larceny by false promise, grand larceny by false pretenses, scheme to defraud, and filing of a false instrument, conspiracy, and perjury. The thrust of the indictment is that the defendants never intended to comply with the prevailing wage and pre-plumbing master plumber requirements. Among other evidence which was presented to the Jury was that the defendants calculated their bids based on piecework rather than hourly costs, that they promised workers the higher of piecework or hourly rate, but only paid a piecework rate that resulted in a lower wage than an hourly rate at the prevailing wages, that the defendants arranged with a licensed plumber to falsely make it appear that a licensed plumber was supervising pre-plumbing work, and that the defendants submitted false and perjurious forms to the City certifying they had complied with the contracts.