After a four-day trial, William Patrick “Pat” Clark, owner and operator of Clark Trucking and Excavation, LLC, was found guilty last week by a federal jury on each of ten felony counts. Clark, 40, of Worden, Ill., was found to have unlawfully profited from falsifying payrolls for his truck drivers on a federal contract.
Clark cheated his employees by paying them $15 per hour instead of the prevailing $35-45 per hour (without approved fringe benefits) for truck drivers working on the federally-funded I-64 Highway project. Clark also had signed a sworn affidavit stating that he had satisfied the federal wage law (claiming he had paid the drivers more than he actually had) required by the $1.6 million paid by the government to the East St. Louis-based carrier for the project.
By falsifying records claiming employees were paid more than they actually were, Clark fraudulently retained money due to the employees. Nine of his drivers testified at the trial.
Clark was sentenced to 33 months of prison and must pay a $1,000 special assessment. He is also facing three years of supervised release. Clark has been ordered to pay $273,118 to his former drivers. His company is now defunct. A lengthy investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General-Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigation resulted in the charges against Clark.
Prevailing wages must be paid by contractors and subcontractors on federally funded contracts of $2,000 or more as required by the Davis-Bacon Act. The Davis-Bacon Act was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover back in 1931 and was named after its sponsors James J. Davis, a Senator from Pennsylvania, and a former Secretary of Labor under three presidents, Representative Robert L. Bacon of New York. The act was the result of local workers’ complaints about cheap labor taking their jobs and the subsequent frustrations of Congressmen bringing pork barrel projects to their districts that did not result in jobs for their constituents.