For Immediate Release - December 08, 2010

Construction Management Company Sued by AG Coakley for Defrauding Massport Over $1.3 Million During Renovation of Logan International Airport

URS Corporation Allegedly Failed to Deter Former Employee from Overcharging Massport

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a lawsuit against URS Corporation, a California-based company with several Massachusetts offices, for defrauding the Massachusetts Port Authority ("Massport") during the renovation of Logan International Airport.

The complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court earlier this week, alleges that a former senior employee of URS, who was responsible for submitting monthly invoices to Massport, submitted inflated invoices with phony receipts and records resulting in the overpayment to the company in excess of $1.3 million. The employee, George Papadopoulos, previously pled guilty to criminal charges brought by the Attorney General's Office in April 2010.

The complaint alleges that Papadopoulos, URS' former employee and project manager for the Logan renovation project, perpetrated a scheme to overcharge Massport and steal $1.3 million. On a monthly basis, Papadopoulos submitted claims to URS for thousands of dollars of personal reimbursements. Papadopoulos masked his phony reimbursement charges by submitting false invoices on behalf of URS to Massport which contained inflated labor and other charges. Massport would then pay URS the inflated amount and URS would reimburse Papadopoulos for his personal reimbursements. The complaint alleges that URS failed to detect or deter the fraud, despite the fact that Papadopoulos regularly submitted invoices for thousands of dollars of unexplained personal reimbursements over the course of six years.

On February 23, 2010, the Attorney General's Office filed criminal charges against Papadopoulos, and on April 21, 2010, after pleading guilty to larceny and procurement fraud, Papadopoulos was sentenced to four to five years in State Prison. On December 14, 2009, Massport filed a lawsuit against URS arising out of the false invoice scheme.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Emily Armstrong, of AG Coakley's Consumer Protection Division, with assistance from Legal Analyst Jeffrey Walker and Paralegal Yolanda Kruczkowski.

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