HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A big Pennsylvania heavy equipment contractor entered no contest pleas to four theft counts on Tuesday and agreed to pay restitution of more than $20 million over allegations it illegally diverted pension money and other benefits from its workers.
The Centre Daily Times reported that Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. vice president Michael Hawbaker said at the plea hearing that the company was also agreeing to have a court-appointed corporate monitor perform oversight.
State prosecutors submitted 250 victim impact statements and told the sentencing judge that the company’s illegal actions affected more than a thousand workers, cutting into their retirement funds, the newspaper said.
A public relations company working with Hawbaker’s attorney said a statement would be issued later Tuesday. In pleading “no contest,” the company accepts the convictions but does expressly admit they committed the crime.
Hawbaker, based in State College, is an excavation, highway construction and quarry business that booked $1.7 billion in state transportation construction contracts between 2003 and 2018.
The 70-year-old company was charged in April after a three-year state investigation with four counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro alleged when charges were filed that the family-run company engaged in a “massive, unprecedented fraud” and that their workers “had their retirements stolen from them” to enrich company executives.