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Fourth paving company executive pleads guilty in federal fraud case

By Elizabeth DePompei
edepompei@charlotteobserver.com

Another high-ranking Boggs Paving Inc. employee pleaded guilty Monday in connection to a federal fraud case that alleges the company received more than $87 million in state and federal construction contracts by misrepresenting the role a minority-owned contractor played in the work.

Greg Miller, 59, is the fourth employee of the Monroe-based company to reach a plea agreement in the case. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler accepted Miller’s guilty plea. Documents outlining Miller’s involvement in the case are sealed and unavailable to the public.

Last year, prosecutors accused the company and its executives with 29 counts of criminal activity, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud.

According to the indictment, Boggs Paving received 37 federal construction contracts worth $87.6 million dating back to 2004. The company wouldn’t have gotten any of the jobs without claiming that a minority subcontractor would receive a required percentage of the work.

Miller and the three defendants who have pleaded guilty so far are expected to be called as witnesses in a Sept. 15 trial for the two remaining defendants.

“We were at the stage of the process where it was best for Mr. Miller to enter into this plea agreement,” Miller’s attorney, Christopher C. Fialko, said. But Fialko added that he and his client “will have significant mitigating information to present to the judge at sentencing.”

Boggs Paving President and CEO Carl Andrew “Drew” Boggs III is the only company executive who have not entered pleas before the trial.

Also indicted is John “Styx” Cuthbertson of Styx Cuthbertson Trucking, the Wingate-based minority-owned contractor at the center of the scheme. The indictment claims that Boggs Paving exaggerated how much it used Styx Trucking, a certified “disadvantaged business enterprise.”

If convicted, the remaining defendants face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and up to 20 years for each count of wire and mail fraud, as well as conspiracy to money launder. The money-laundering charge carries up to 10 years. Each count could also include a $250,000 fine.

The other defendants who have pleaded guilty in connection with the charges are Boggs Paving Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hicks; Vice President Greg Tucker; and Arnold Mann, a former project manager for the company. Staff writer Michael Gordon contributed.

DePompei: 704-358-5067
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