Court Gavel

An Eighty Four resident, who owns a steel erection firm in the Mon Valley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in a case involving $1.065 million in bridge subcontracts.

Donald R. Taylor, 78, owner of Century Steel Erectors Co. of Dravosburg, entered the plea in federal court in Pittsburgh, acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said Monday. He pleaded to one count before U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

Fischer scheduled sentencing for 9 a.m. March 9. Taylor faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

In pleading, Taylor admitted he conspired with Watson L. Maloy Jr. to use Maloy’s firm, W.M.C.C. Inc., as a front to illegally get federally funded subcontracts on bridge projects overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

He also admitted the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the Federal Highway Administration, required PennDOT and the turnpike commission to use U.S. DOT’s disadvantaged business enterprise program, which is intended to promote inclusion of minority-owned small businesses in federally funded projects.

Century Steel is not a certified disadvantaged business enterprise subcontractor, and because of that, Taylor and Maloy agreed to use W.M.C.C. to get DBE-eligible subcontracts.

Taylor agreed to pay $85,221.21 in restitution to PennDOT.

Maloy pleaded guilty in November 2014 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. His hearing is slated Jan. 23 before Chief U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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