Target Accuses Paving Contractor of Racketeering
Target Corporation is reportedly accusing one of its contractors of committing fraud while overseeing about $100 million in repairs and maintenance on the retailer’s parking lots across the country.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Minneapolis on Friday, Target alleges that Pearland, Texas-based LCH Pavement Consultants, which it hired in 2009 to oversee asphalt work in most of the United States, conspired with paving contractors in California, Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin to inflate prices, rig bids, fix prices, misrepresent work being done, and distribute kickbacks, according to a Star Tribune report.
The company is reportedly seeking triple damages, although it’s unclear how much Target claims it was damaged, and the retailer declined to provide an estimate to the Star Tribune. But the newspaper said that the amount appears to be in the millions of dollars.
Other companies and individuals that have been named in the lawsuit as defendants reportedly include one of LCH’s owners, Leslie Bailey; LCH General Manager Keith Heutzenroeder; Bridgeview, Illinois-based Rose Paving Company; La Mirada, California-based United Paving Company and its president, Sabas Trujillo; Green Bay, Wisconsin-based American Pavement Solutions and its president, Timothy Helstad; and Pearland, Texas-based Asphalt Maintenance and its president, James Stinson.
Target’s suit reportedly claims that LCH fraudulently distributed work to its co-conspirators by denying other contractors a chance to bid, or by getting them to submit bids they knew were too high. LCH is also accused of fraudulently inflating legitimate, lower bids when it filed reports with Target and overstating the type and quantity of work that needed to be done, according to the Star Tribune.
“Accountability is the foundation of how Target does business, and we expect honesty from our vendor partners,” Target said in a statement provided to the Minneapolis newspaper. “Several paving vendors breached this trust by misrepresenting the services they performed on behalf of Target. . . .Target is pursuing civil action to recoup the amount paid for services that were not performed, or performed in part.”
To learn more about the allegations, read the Star Tribune story here.