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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 29, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Office of Government Integrity
- Tracy M. Thompson, Acting Director

 

Paul Loriquet
609-292-4791

 

Attorney General Peter C. Harvey Announces Indictment of Atlantic County Transportation Contractor
Defrauds State of Approximately $80,000

TRENTON – Attorney General Peter C. Harvey today announced that an Atlantic County transportation contractor and his company were indicted by a State Grand Jury for filing false contract payment claims and installing substandard crash guard devices for the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The charges in the seven count indictment were brought by the Office of Government Integrity.

“We continue to aggressively investigate contractors and companies who steal public money through government contracts, particularly where it puts public safety and health at risk,” said Attorney General Harvey. “This company installed substandard crash guard devices on New Jersey highways which endangers the safety of New Jersey and out of state motorists.”

Tracy M. Thompson, Acting Director of the Office of Government Integrity (OGI), said that a State Grand Jury indictment charged George R. Smith, Jr., 51, of Folsom, and president of Statewide Hi-Way Safety (SHS), Inc., with two counts of false contract payment claims of government contracts, two counts of false representation for a government contract, one count of theft by deception, one count official misconduct by a corporate official, all second-degree crimes, and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities, a fourth-degree crime. If convicted, Smith could face up to 10 years in jail and fines up to $150,000.

According to Thompson, the seven counts of the Grand Jury’s indictment charge that in March of 2004, Smith and SHS allegedly submitted a false claim in excess of $25,000 for payment for performance of a contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The indictment further alleges that Smith and his company between 2001 and 2004, derived a benefit of more than $80,000 for installing improper roadside crash guard modules. The contracts required SHS to replace damaged crash guard modules with new Adiem™ brand modules. The investigation revealed that in 2003, SHS began repairing and later manufacturing its own version of crash guard modules, while continuing to bill NJDOT for the Adiem brand.

“We are committed to ensuring that our contracting agencies get what they pay for and that shady contractors are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said OGI Acting Director Thompson.

OGI State Investigator Robert Rich coordinated the investigation, assisted by NJDOT investigator Ken Mansfield and Special Agent of the U.S. Department of Transportation Robert Brautigan. Deputy Attorney General Tracy M. Thompson presented the case to the State Grand Jury.

The indictment was handed-up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Neil H. Shuster. The case has been assigned to Mercer County for trial. An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

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