Paved with Bad Intentions

Cracking down on bid rigging, the fast lane to profits

Though no one planned it that way, it has become the largest single investigation in U.S. Justice Department history. It has produced 262 cases against 256 corporations and 267 individuals, leading to 400 criminal convictions, some $50 million in penalties and 137 jail sentences, many of them against once respected members of their communities. Their offense: participating in bid-rigging schemes on construction projects.

Over the past four years grand juries in at least 24 states have examined the activities of collusive contractors, and U.S. Justice Department Antitrust Operations Director Joseph Widmar promises...

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