MANHATTAN (CN) – Con Ed sued a chief construction supervisor who admitted taking bribes to submit false invoices so contractors could be overpaid for work – sometimes for work that was never done. The utility company claims Brendan Maher took $10,000 in bribes, and cost it more than $270,000 in phony invoices.
Maher was arrested in January and charged in a “criminal bribery and kickback scheme,” and pleaded guilty in July to “the felony of commercial bribery,” according to Consolidated Edison of New Jersey’s complaint in New York County Court.
“On July 13, 2009, defendant pleaded guilty and confessed that while being paid by Con Edison to work on Con Edison’s behalf, he accepted bribes from at least one contractor in exchange for defrauding Con Edison into paying for inflated invoices or invoices for work not actually performed,” according to the complaint.
In one case, Con Ed says, Maher authorized payment for hard rock removal even though there was no hard rock to be removed at the site. Con Ed claims Maher approved at least $270,000 in overcharges and the total damage he caused, including Con Ed’s investigation and this litigation, came to at least $600,000.