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Construction VP Admits Bid Rigging

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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The former vice president of a Detroit construction management company has pleaded guilty in the long-running federal investigation into bid rigging at a public housing complex in Detroit.

Calvin Hall, 45, of Detroit, entered his plea Monday (Aug. 19) in U.S. District Court before Judge David M. Lawson in the continuing scandal, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.

Hall is a co-defendant of contractor Bobby W. Ferguson, who is in prison awaiting a retrial on bid-rigging charges in the same case. Ferguson, Hall, Michael Woodhouse and four others were indicted in 2010 on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and other federal crimes in the case.

A month-long bid-rigging trial of Woodhouse, Hall and Ferguson ended in June 2012 in a mistrial.

Calvin Hill Kwame Kilpatrick
Supplied via freep.com (left); Wikimedia Commons (right)

Calvin Hall (left) was awaiting retrial on multiple charges when he pleaded guilty to one. Hill's co-defendant, Bobby Ferguson, is in prison on other charges along with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (right).

Both Ferguson and his crony, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, are in prison awaiting sentencing after their convictions this year on dozens of felonies related to corruption in the mayor's office.

$11.7M Contract

Hall and Woodhouse were accused of preparing fraudulent bids on behalf of Ferguson's company, XCEL Construction Services, in order to obtain an $11.7 million contract to act as Construction Manager for the infrastructure installation phase of a low-income housing project known as the Gardenview Estates.

The 833-home project was funded by a $24 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hall was the vice president of XCEL Construction Services.

During Monday's plea hearing, Hall admitted conspiring with Woodhouse, XCEL's president, and with Ferguson, who founded XCEL in 2002, the year that Kilpatrick took office.

Garden View Estates
Detroit Housing Commission

Calvin Hill and his co-defendants were accused of rigging a bid to win an $11.7 million contract for Detroit's Gardenview Estates public housing project.

Under the plea agreement, Hall faces up to 18 months of imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $40,000. In addition, Hall agreed to forfeit more than $2.2 million in assets, including multiple bank accounts and certificates of deposit seized from XCEL during the federal investigation.

'Severe Consquences'

"We hope that this conviction will deter people from committing fraud against public housing programs, which are intended to provide housing to needy people in our community,” said McQuade.

Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit Field Office, said, "Those who use false documents to receive millions of dollars in government contracts will face severe consequences for their illegal acts. The FBI will remain committed to pursuing and prosecuting such criminals."



Tagged categories: Bidding; Contracts; Enforcement; Government contracts; Housing; Laws and litigation; Residential Construction

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