Kevin Schuler, a former executive with Buffalo, N.Y. general contractor LPCiminelli, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy for his part in an alleged bid-rigging scheme.
The scheme reportedly helped his former employer win a $750 million contract related to the Buffalo Billion development program. Prosecutors claim that Schuler and two other LPCiminelli executives, Louis Ciminelli and Michael Laipple, and other individuals related to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic initiative, rigged the bid process in favor of LPCiminelli and other contractors.
The executives allegedly made bribes paid to former Cuomo aide Todd Howe and one other individual. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara alleged that LPCiminelli received the multimillion-dollar SolarCity construction contract in return for bribes that were disguised as consultant fees to Howe, who had influence over contract awards.
The fallout from the criminal charges has reportedly cost LPCiminelli $4 billion in contracts from other customers. As a result, the company has stopped functioning as a general contractor and has refocused on program management and development.