Monday, September 2, 2013

Tremco Whistleblower Gets $61 Million Dollar Settlement in Qui Tam Case; Indiana Fraud First Exposed by this Blogger

It's fitting that the ressurection of this blog would occur to make an announcement about a former Tremco employee who was recently reached a $61 million dollar settlement in a Qui Tam/whistleblowing case against Tremco Roofing Corporation.  (Read this link for details.)

It's finally come full circle since this blog was first created in 2007 after Tremco sued this blogger and Taxpayers United for Fairness for exposing some of the same type of alleged fraud that the employee-whistleblower joined up with federal prosecutors to expose.  This blogger spent several years defending herself against Tremco's harassment in the SLAPP [lawsuit] when Tremco officials apparently had full knowledge that everything I had been claiming was true.

Imagine my surprise as I read through the 69-page complaint filed in The United States District Court for the District of Columbia and found out that Indiana was one of thirteen states represented in the lawsuit filed by Gregory Rudolph, former Vice President of Product Managment for Tremco. 

It shouldn't have taken a federal lawsuit for Indiana taxpayers to get an ounce of relief.   Attorney General Greg Zoeller was given mounds of evidence of fraud against taxpayers long before this lawsuit was ever filed.

Indiana Linked to Lawsuit
Tremco Lobbyists Convinced Lubbers to Turn on Taxpayers

Some of the fraud exposed involved school roofing projects that this blogger had complained about to state officials since 2005, including then-Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, former Governor Mitch Daniels, and Senator Teresa Lubbers only to be ignored due to interference by Tremco-funded lawyers and lobbyists. 

Specifically, Rudolph alleged that Tremco "violated the Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act, by...selling the State of Indiana or its subdivisions defective roofing products and installing defective roofing systems on state buildings and misrepresenting falsely the quality of lower-priced roofs to fraudulently induce purchase of more expensive, identical Tremco roofing products, including, but not limited to...Center Grove Community School, West Grove Elementary School, Indianapolis Metropolitan School District, North Central High School, Seymour Community Schools District, and Smith Green Community Schools."

I and others had warned about a failing Tremco school roof in Hamilton County as well as additional potential failures only to be scoffed at and ignored.  My own school district, Rossville School, reportedly had leaks in its roof within two years after it was installed.  Tremco and school officials were ruthless in their attacks against me during my repeated attempts to notify local and state officials of the tax fraud, waste, abuse, and potential safety issues related to school roof jobs.

Other Indiana projects were also listed in the complaint, including roofing products sold to the City of Valparaiso Waste Water Treatment Plant, and the Frankfort Post Office.

Dan Tyree Was Warned!

Dan Tyree
And I can't forget to give a shout out to Superintendent Dan Tyree of the Plymouth School District who viciously attacked me via radio and Internet  after I exposed his participation in a Tremco-related school roofing scam that he helped initiate with Plymouth, Indiana tax dollars.  What say you now, Dan?

I tried to warn you before you entered into a no-bid scheme with an Ohio-based corporation that is now known nationally for ripping off  local, state, and federal governments funded by taxpayers.   You should be held personally liable for all of it, especially since you were warned ahead of time!  You'd better check those roofs for leaks, Danny Boy!  Those leaks might destroy that computer harddrive that you're trying to keep out of the hands of FBI agents.

Former Tremco President Worried About Staying "Out of Jail"

Deryl Kratzer was president of Tremco when I was sued for exposing corruption.  I'll never forget his viciousness after we both appeared before an Indiana Senate Committee and once at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse where I was exposing his company's misdeeds. 

After reading through the complaint I fully understand why he is no longer employed by the disgraced Ohio-based roofing corporation.   Well, Deryl, remember that pit you tried to dig for me?  It's fitting that you fell into it yourself.

In his complaint, the former Tremco vice president alleges that he tried to warn Kratzer on two occasions that Tremco was "providing discounts to large non-Federal government purchasers that exceeded the Federal Government's 13.3% discount."  It was disclosed that Tremco sales reps had the discretion to discount up to 30%, and that Kratzer responded that "there were 'ways around' the Federal Government's preferred pricing requirements." 

You see, it's illegal to charge the federal government exorbitant prices while giving large discounts to private entitites.  It's called waste and abuse of taxpayer monies.

Rudolph also alleged that Kratzer expressed concern that "if the government ever audited Tremco's discounting practices, Tremco 'would get killed.'"  Those concerns eventually became Kratzer's nightmare.

The lawsuit also states that in or around 2005, Tremco hired a compliance officer, Angela DiTommaso who Kratzer allegedly stated that "it was DiTommaso's job to keep him 'out of jail.'"

Many are wondering why that hasn't happened yet with the mounds of evidence presented to the Feds by more than one former employee.  And what did the RPM Board of Directors know about all the allegations?  Stay tuned to find out.  I'm just getting started.

Stay tuned to this blog for Part II, Part III, and beyond.  There's 69 pages of sordid details to report.