- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A politically connected paving contractor was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in a bid-rigging and kickback scheme involving nearly $90 million in government highway construction projects.

Carl “Drew” Boggs appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, more than a year after pleading guilty to conspiracy and money laundering.

Boggs apologized and Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. sentenced the chief executive officer of Boggs Paving to nearly three years in prison. Boggs was also fined $15,000 and placed on two years of supervised release. He faced up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

According to the federal indictment, Boggs and his co-defendants conspired to get federal and state contracts between 2003 and 2014 by claiming a minority-owned small business would do part of the work. Under state contracting rules, 15 percent of work on such projects must be completed by minority or female-owned companies.

Prosecutors say millions in payments to a bank account in the name of Styx Cuthbertson Trucking, a minority-owned contractor, were later funneled back to Boggs Paving. To aid the fraud, magnetic decals for Cuthbertson covered the Boggs logo on trucks at the construction sites.

Boggs Paving has been a prominent road construction company in the Charlotte area.

The Associated Press reported in 2014 that Boggs and his family have been frequent contributors to North Carolina politicians from both parties, including Gov. Pat McCrory.

In March 2012, Boggs hosted a fundraiser for then-candidate McCrory at his $2.2 million home in Waxhaw. Following Boggs’ indictment last year, the Republican governor’s campaign said it would give to charity more than $10,000 in political donations tied to Boggs.

By court orders, Boggs Paving is barred from bidding on contracts as are its affiliates, companies with interlocking management, and those with a “common use of employees.”

The AP reported in August that a newly formed highway construction company with deep ties to Boggs Paving has landed more than $27 million in new government projects across the Carolinas.

Boggs’ brother, David “Chris” Boggs, is a co-owner of the barred company. He signed paperwork in September 2014, creating Lynches River at the address of an existing Boggs Paving affiliate. He then turned ownership over to two trusts the brothers established to benefit their children. The new company also named Boggs Paving managers as its president and vice president.

The setup means Boggs Paving “can essentially continue to generate economic wealth for their families, which indirectly benefits the debarred wrongdoers,” South Carolina Inspector General Patrick Maley wrote in a recent report. Maley said the situation raised serious concerns but appeared to be legal, and he recommended new regulations to prevent similar situations in the future.

Emails obtained by AP show officials in both states expressed concern about the connection.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com

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