Six contractors charged with colluding with Lehr: DA

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The Manhattan district attorney has indicted six subcontractors for allegedly colluding with Lehr Construction, which was charged with fraud and corruption yesterday, in swindling $30 million from construction clients. Godsell Construction was charged with grand larceny as were JT Roselle Lighting, Liberty Contracting, PJ Mechanical, Superior Acoustics and Sweeney & Harkin Carpentry. According to court documents, the six companies colluded with Lehr, which acted as the construction manager for clients, to overcharge clients for the work they performed. The firms held the money for Lehr, and in return, later performed work for Lehr in general contractor projects. The DA’s office said collusion was in play during interior construction projects for law firm Holland & Knight at 31 West 52nd Street, Unum at 666 Third Avenue, Fidelity Investments at 200 Liberty Street and Zurich North America, a bank at 105 East 17th Street. “The defendants in this case cheated clients out of millions of dollars, and their honest competitors out of valuable construction jobs,” Vance said. “Lehr would not have been able to operate its corrupt scheme without the participation of these subcontractors.” TRD