Ready-Made Bids for Ready-Mix Concrete: A Top Executive in Iowa Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing

Three ready-mix concrete companies in Iowa entered into illegal price-fixing agreements, says an executive with one of the companies. Steven Keith VandeBrake will plead guilty to the three conspiracies in which he and others submitted “rigged bids at collusive and noncompetitive prices,” according to DoJ. Ready-mix concrete is used for a variety of building projects, including roads. Price-fixing agreements are expressly prohibited by the Sherman Act and can be a violation of the federal False Claims Act where the bid-rigging involves a federally funded contract (some state contracts might also trigger violations of various state False Claims Acts). In less than a year, DoJ has pursued antitrust false claims act cases involving EPA Superfund contracts, freight forwarding contracts, and ice contracts. Whistleblowers who report bid-rigging schemes involving government contracts may be entitled to up to 25% and in some cases 30% of the damages and penalties.

To report bid-rigging in federal or state contracts or False Claims Act violations, contact Frohsin & Barger.