|Owner DC Water commenced a $1.4 billion Blue Plains Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade in 2011. Subcontractors on the concrete phase included Iron Workers Local 201-represented “rodmen.”|
The U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division has charged International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union Local 201 Business Manager Juan Carlos Recinos with taking kickbacks from rebar crew members who had received backpay awards for work at the District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority’s Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A grand jury indictment alleges that on seven instances between April and September 2013, he coaxed “rodmen” from Iron Workers Local 201 in Washington, D.C., to give him part of their $500 to $3,800 in cash awards—claiming payments were owed to an unnamed attorney. Recinos allegedly pocketed the money, in violation of the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act, which states:Whoever, by force, intimidation, or threat of procuring dismissal from employment, or by any other manner whatsoever induces any person employed in the construction, prosecution, completion or repair of any public building, public work, or building or work financed in whole or in part by loans or grants from the United States, to give up any part of the compensation to which he is entitled under his contract of employment, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
The Department of Labor is conducting its own investigation, while the Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section is pursuing the case in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Announcing the indictment were Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, and the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General/Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge John Dolce and Office of Labor Management Standards Washington, D.C., Office Director Mark Wheeler.