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MISSOURI CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND PRESIDENT CHARGED WITH RIGGING BIDS OF A KANSAS CITY SHOPPING CENTER RENOVATION

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A Kansas City, Mo., construction company and its president agreed to plead guilty today to conspiring to rig bids on construction work for a $33 million Kansas City shopping center renovation project.
 The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division charged that KD Christian Construction Company and its president, Kevin D. Christian, and others conspired from August 1989 to September 1990 to rig bids on demolition and concrete contracts on the Ward Parkway Shopping Center renovation project in Kansas City, Mo.
 The court papers, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., state that Christian, KD Christian Construction Company and co- conspirators discussed bids, limited the bidding to co-conspirators, allocated those contracts to a co-conspirator and prepared and submitted intentionally high bids for those contracts.
 The demolition contract was awarded to a co-conspirator firm for $448,852 and the same co-conspirator was initially awarded the concrete contract for $1,077,990. Both contracts were awarded after the defendants and other co-conspirators submitted intentionally higher complementary bids.
 The shopping center, owned primarily by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) since 1987, was managed by J.W. O'Connor & Co. Inc., a New York City real estate investment and management company.
 In 1989, O'Connor contracted with a joint venture formed by Bennett Construction Co. Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., and BK General Contractors of Atlanta to seek bids on a number of construction contracts, including contracts involving demolition and concrete work, at Ward Parkway.
 Assistant Attorney General Anne K. Bingaman in charge of the Antitrust Division, said that the charges arose from a federal grand jury investigation in Kansas City, Kan. The investigation is being conducted by the division's Chicago Field Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Kansas City, Mo., with the assistance from the U.S. Attorney's office in Kansas City, Kan., and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in Topeka, Kan.
 The defendants have agreed to cooperate in the department's ongoing investigation into criminal activity on the Ward Parkway Shopping Center renovation project and in the construction industry in Kansas and Missouri.
 The maximum penalty for a corporation convicted under the Sherman Act for a violation occurring before Nov. 16, 1990, is a fine that is the greatest of $1 million, twice the gross pecuniary gain the corporation derived from the crime, or twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime.
 The maximum penalty for an individual convicted under the Sherman Act for a violation occurring before Nov. 16, 1990, is three years incarceration and fine that is the largest of $250,000, twice the gross pecuniary gain the individual derived from the crime or twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims of the crime.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-616-2771/ CO: Department of Justice; KD Christian Construction Company;
 Kansas Public Employees Retirement System ST: Missouri, Kansas IN: CST SU: EXE


DT-DS -- DC056 -- 2131 10/21/93 17:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
Words:496
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