J. W. Ancel Inc., a Towson-based construction firm, paid $145,000 to settle allegations that the company submitted inflated construction costs connected to a state bus depot, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced Friday.
J. W. Ancel was awarded a contract in 2013 to build a bus facility and maintenance building for the Maryland Transit Administration. During the project, the company submitted requests for “excess and overstated costs" not covered by the original contract. The state did not approve the payments.
“In 2015, I successfully lobbied for passage of the Maryland False Claims Act,” Frosh said in a statement. “Since its passage, we are pursuing companies like J.W. Ancel that attempt to defraud state government. By weeding out dishonest companies, the False Claims Act levels the playing field for honest businesses to succeed.”
Under the act, violators may be required to pay up to three times of the amount of damages and additional penalties up to $10,000 per claim.
The owner of J.W. Ancel could not be reached immediately for comment.