BROOKLYN, NY-Construction giant Lend Lease (US) Construction LMB Inc. has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, and will pay up to $56 million in penalties after admitting that it fraudently overbilled public and private clients over a 10-year period, according to documents filed Tuesday in US District Court here. In a related case, James Abadie, the former principal of Lend Lease’s New York office, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with the overbilling, and faces up to 20 years in prison. Abadie’s attorney, Stephen E. Kaufman, did not respond to GlobeSt.com’s request for comment by deadline Wednesday.

Lend Lease’s attorney, Steven Reiss of Weil Gotshal & Manges, referred GlobeSt.com’s inquiry to a spokeswoman for his client. In an emailed statement, Robert McNamara, CEO of the Americas region for Lend Lease, says the company accepts responsibility “for what happened in the past and have agreed to continue to make restitution to the affected clients. We are satisfied that the investigation is now resolved and we are looking forward to continuing our commitment to projects in New York City.” A release from the firm says it has fully cooperated with the federal government since 2009, when the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York launched an investigation.

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