- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for East Longmeadow-based Flooring Company to Pay $1 Million Over Claims of Providing False Information to Obtain Contracts With UMass Amherst
BOSTON — An East Longmeadow-based tile and carpet company and its owners have agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that they knowingly provided false information to obtain contracts with the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
In the complaint, filed along with a proposed consent judgment in Suffolk Superior Court, the AG’s False Claims Division alleges that Dimauro Carpet & Tile, Inc., and its present and former owners –Vincent Dimauro, Patricia Dimauro, and Paul Beturne – violated the Massachusetts False Claims Act when the company submitted knowingly false applications to the State’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to obtain certification in the category of Floor Covering, and then relied on those certifications and other false statements in bids for contracts it submitted to UMass.
In the complaint, AG Healey’s False Claims Division alleges that from 2016 through 2019, Dimauro and its owners submitted false applications to DCAMM stating that all flooring installation work would be conducted by the company’s own employees. The False Claims Division alleges that these were knowingly false applications, as the company did not use its own employees to install flooring and, instead, hired subcontractors for this work. The complaint further alleges that these fraudulent applications allowed the company to become a certified flooring contractor, making it eligible to bid on contracts with UMass.
In September 2016 and October 2019, Dimauro and its owners submitted two bids for flooring installation contracts at UMass that listed the names of five alleged employees who would be performing the work. However, according to the complaint, none of the individuals listed in the bid were employees of Dimauro. Instead, without UMass’ required written permission, the company hired subcontractors to perform the flooring installation work, and then allegedly filed more than 100 false weekly payroll reports with UMass, claiming to have paid the state’s prevailing wage rate and fabricating the number of hours worked on each job.
Under the terms of the proposed consent judgment, the defendants will pay the state $950,000 over the next five years, and pay $50,000 toward a three-year monitoring program conducted by an independent ethics and compliance review organization to ensure it is complying with bids, contracts, prevailing wage, weekly wage reports and DCAMM applications. The independent monitor will prepare comprehensive written reports and provide annual updates to the AG’s Office about the company’s compliance.
The False Claims Division was created by AG Healey in 2015 to safeguard public funds by enforcing high standards of integrity against companies and individuals that make false statements to obtain government contracts or funds.
Anyone with information about suspected fraud or abuse relating to state or municipal contracts or funds is urged to contact the False Claims Division’s tip line at 617-963-2600.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Mary-Ellen Kennedy of AG Healey’s False Claims Division, with assistance from False Claims Division Chief Amy Crafts and Assistant Attorney General Angelica Duron, with investigative assistance from Colleen Frost of the AG’s Civil Investigations Division.