Lend Lease Construction’s record-setting $56 million fine was too lenient a punishment, according to a New York Post editorial, which also said it marks the second time the company has gotten off easy in the last five years. US Attorney Loretta Lynch reached a settlement with the construction manager, after it was found to have stolen at least $19 million from the government in building contracts, including Citi Field, the Time Warner Center and Grand Central Terminal, through a fraudulent overtime billing scheme. Further, the company did not live up to minority subcontracting promises it made to secure the work.
The Post argued the company, and not just a few of its executives, should have been prosecuted. It committed major crimes and should have convicted of those wrongdoings, which would have barred it from recieving future government contracts.
Lynch said she didn’t opt to go in that route because it would result in reduced work for the firm that would impact its thousands of New York City employees. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office came to a similar conclusion when it settled with the construction firm, rather than prosecute it, for its connection to the 2007 Deutsche Bank building fire that killed two people.
“This sounds awfully like a local construction company version of ‘too big to fail,'” the Post wrote. [Post]