Detroit bans BBEK Environmental and associated companies from working in the city

Detroit’s inspector general banned three environmental firms from working with the city after a years-long investigation into improper business practices.

Warren-based abatement company BBEK Environmental and its owner Kevin Woods are barred from working with the city of Detroit until 2039. Green Way Environmental and HC Consultants, who helped BBEK in the air monitoring, are also banned until 2039. The effective date dates back to August 5, 2019, when the three companies were suspended from operating in the city while the bureau investigated their ownership ties.

After:Three companies suspended from Detroit demolition program

The three companies were contracted for asbestos removal services for the Detroit Land Bank Authority and the City of Detroit. The Inspector General received a complaint from the Detroit Land Bank in July 2019 that BBEK was not complying with demolition agreements and other contracts. Land Bank officials questioned the relationship between the three companies and said post-reduction air monitoring should be done by an independent third-party contractor.

During the investigation, Detroit’s inspector general found documents suggesting the companies and owners “engaged in improper and possible criminal activity” that violated the Asbestos Abatement Contractors Licensing Act, the office said. The Inspector General’s Office referred the matter to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and issued interim suspensions.

Since the case was referred and criminally investigated by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the Inspector General had to suspend the ban on barring businesses until this investigation is completed.

Woods was arraigned last year on multiple felony charges. Attorney General Dana Nessel announced in April that Woods had pleaded guilty to one count of making false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000, a five-year felony, under the Business Licensing Act. asbestos abatement contractors.

He was accused of ‘misrepresenting project costs to avoid paying more money to the state, bribing a contractor to get work for his business, and violating state laws which require post-reduction air monitoring to be performed by an independent entity,” according to a press release. release of the attorney general.

In June, Woods was sentenced to two years probation, restitution for underreported charges for Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and 100 community service, according to the disqualification report. ‘Inspector General.

The Inspector General’s report concluded that Green Way was not a neutral party to BBEK, who violated the Asbestos Contractors Licensing Act. The law requires a reduction company to hire a third party to perform the monitoring. Once Woods knew their relationship was under investigation, he “created a fraudulent lease agreement between the two companies” where Woods attempted to cover up the relationship between BBEK and Green Way by laundering money. money between accounts to convince others that Green Way was paying BBEK’s rent. and BBEK employee user fees, according to the report.

It was discovered that Woods had laundered money between his BBEK, personal and Green Way Flagstar bank accounts to conceal his activities, the report said.

The report also states that Harvey’s HC Consulting, which was used as a third-party air monitor, was also not a neutral party independent of BBEK Environmental. Harvey was a silent investor in BBEK, which Woods founded in 2014, the year HC Consulting was founded, and he oversaw BBEK’s finances throughout the time his company acted as air comptroller. , says the report.

“Mr. Woods defrauded the Blight Elimination Program and put Michigan residents at risk by violating air quality monitoring regulations for asbestos abatement,” said Melissa Bruce, Special Inspector General by Acting Troubled Asset Relief Program, in a press release.

Greenway Environmental owner William Scully and HC Consultants owner James Harvey will be disbarred until 2024, according to the inspector general’s report.

“Doing business with the City of Detroit can be lucrative for contractors, but contractors need to understand that the agreed-upon engagement is in the public interest. They must understand that we have trusted them to comply with the law and the terms of the contract. As such, we will hold them accountable if they breach this trust. This is how we ensure the honesty and integrity of our government,” Inspector General Ellen Ha said in a statement.

After:Suspended Detroit demolition contractor seeks hearing in investigation

Ha’s office is also investigating a demolition contractor recently suspended for questionable business practices in the city.

Inner City Contracting, which has been awarded more than $10 million in demolition contracts, is seeking an internal hearing this month with the inspector general to point out possible inaccuracies in an ongoing investigation alleging questionable business conduct.

The inspector general alleges that the company submitted fraudulent documents to the city that require a company to have an office in Detroit that functions as an administrative center where management personnel perform at least 51% of the functions. This allowed the entrepreneur to earn Detroit Based Business, Detroit Small Business, and Detroit Headquartered Business certifications. The city gives preference to local bidders for demolition contracts, and officials could not verify Inner City’s certifications.

which would require the company to have an office in the city that functions as an administrative center where the highest-level management personnel perform at least 51% of the duties.

Dana Afana is the Detroit City Hall reporter for the Free Press. Contact Dana: [email protected] or 313-635-3491. Follow her on Twitter: @DanaAfana.

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