Philly man charged with lying about PennDOT overbilling scheme

Joseph DeSimone. Credit: Attorney General's office. Joseph DeSimone is charged with perjury. Credit: Attorney General’s office.

The office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane is charging a Philly man with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating billing abuses at PennDOT.

Joseph DeSimone, 33, of 24th and Hicks streets, who works as a consultant inspector for Construction Methods and Coordination, was arrested today and could face up to seven years in prison on perjury charges, the Attorney General’s office said.

DeSimone was charged with lying on December 17, 2013, during a grand jury investigation that reportedly began in March 2013 into alleged billing abuses at PennDOT.

DeSimone reportedly worked as a consultant for PennDOT District 6, which covers the greater Philadelphia area.

The investigation was reportedly launched after a whistleblower came forward to notify Kane’s office that consultant inspectors were allegedly overbilling the state for time worked inspecting highways, and illegally paying off PennDOT supervisors who allegedly allowed the overpayment to occur.

DeSimone denied having conversations with the whistleblower before he appeared before the grand jury. But cell phone records reportedly show that DeSimone had called the whistleblower just over an hour before he testified to the grand jury.

Upon direct and repeated questioning, according to a copy of the grand jury presentment, DeSimone repeatedly denied having spoken to anyone the day of his testimony besides his girlfriend.

Kane’s spokesman J.J. Abbot declined to comment on whether further arrests would be made in this investigation, citing grand jury confidentiality laws.

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