Calvin Hall, the former vice president of Xcel Construction Services Inc. in Detroit, entered a guilty plea on Monday to a bid rigging charge deriving from an $11 million public housing contract. Hall admitted before United States District Judge David M. Lawson that he conspired with Michael Woodhouse, Xcel’s president, and Bobby W. Ferguson, the company’s founder. Both men face separate charges.
Prosecutors say that three defendants made it appear that the company’s bid to provide demolition, utilities, earthwork, and concrete work, on the Detroit housing project was competitive. The construction project of Garden View Estates in West Detroit was funded with $24 million in federal money.
According to the indictment, the company worked with a co-conspirator to submit a fake, overpriced bid that would allow Xcel to overcharge for services in its own proposal. The co-conspirator later joined the construction project as a subcontractor.
The government agreed in the plea agreement that federal sentencing guidelines in this case call for a sentence of 15 to 21 months in prison. Hall has agreed not to appeal any sentence of 18 months in prison or less. He must also forfeit $2.2 million in property. Hall previously had been charged with three criminal counts, but saw the charges of mail fraud and money laundering dropped as part of the plea deal.
The corruption involved in the Garden View Estates contracting remains an ongoing investigation according to government officials. When finished, the construction project will comprise of 833 new single family homes according to the Detroit Housing Commission.
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