Nonunion concrete contractor gets prison sentence in wage fraud case

Jeffery Hurliman, owner of nonunion Westwind Concrete, is serving a two-month federal prison sentence for lying to federal investigators in connection with prevailing wage violations.

Westwind Concrete, based in Cloverdale, Oregon, was a subcontractor on a 2014 construction project at the Marquis Tualatin assisted living center. All construction workers on the project were supposed to be paid the federal prevailing wage because the project received loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But a Department of Labor investigation of four HUD-funded projects found violations at Marquis Tualatin. Carpenters, ironworkers, laborers, and cement masons were being paid less than they were legally entitled to. Investigators at the Labor Department Wage and Hour Division found that Westwind Concrete owed a total of $93,000 in back wages to 27 workers.

Thomas Silva, director of the Portland office of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, says the project’s general contractor, Tualatin LTC Properties, LLC, notified all subcontractors of the discrepancy, and paid subcontractors the difference.

Hurliman turned in certifications that he claimed were from his employees attesting to having received the back wages. But officials in the division’s Portland office noted discrepancies on the proofs of payment. The Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General investigated, and found that the certifications were falsified and that when Hurliman learned about the investigation, he offered money to employees to lie to investigators. That led to federal criminal prosecution.

In January 2017, Hurliman pleaded guilty to witness tampering and providing false statements to the government, both felonies, and began his sentence on June 15, 2017. He will be on supervised release for three years following his release from prison on Aug. 15, 2017.

DOL is seeking to debar Westwind from future government contracts.

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