Bid Rigging Scheme Leads To $587,773.00 Restitution Payment to College of DuPage (Dupage County, IL) – The Board of Trustees of The College of DuPage approved a $587,773.00 restitution payment from Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc. during the December 2020 board meeting.
“Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc., a Chicago-area commercial flooring contractor, has been charged for its role in a long-running antitrust conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for commercial flooring services and products sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced.”
“Vortex has agreed to plead guilty and pay at least $1.4 million in fines and restitution for its role in the conspiracy and to cooperate in the Division’s ongoing investigation. This is the second corporate guilty plea in this investigation. Four flooring executives, including two from Vortex, have pleaded guilty as well.” (Link for entire Press Release from DOJ)
According to the Federal Court filing by the US Government, “Beginning at least as early as 2009, the exact date being unknown to the United States, and continuing through at least June 22, 2017, in the Northern District of Illinois and elsewhere, DELMAR E. CHURCH, JR; ROBERTA. PATREY, JR; KENNETH R. SMITH; and VORTEX COMMERCIAL FLOORING, INC. entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy with Michael P. Gannon, Company A, Company C, PCI Flortech, Inc., Company E, Company G, Company H, and other companies and individuals to suppress and eliminate competition by agreeing to rig bids and to fix prices of commercial flooring services and products sold in the United States. The combination and conspiracy engaged in by the defendants and co-conspirators was a per se unlawful, and thus unreasonable, restraint of interstate trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. S 1.” (Federal court filing)
The College Board of Trustees approved the restitution however there was no board discussion on the matter. The College spent a total of $5,887,731.00 for six flooring contracts and the restitution is 10% of that figure which is $587,773.00.
We note that we wrote extensively about the failures of the past College Administration and Board of Trustees in how they conducted business at the College and such failures were also identified by the Auditor General’s investigation, however, Vortex Commerical Flooring Inc. was not one of the many examples of malfeasance exposed during the former College President Dr. Robert Breuder’s term.
There are also three civil filings found in the Federal docket, two against Vortex and one Vortex brought against a school corporation in Indiana.