Montco man pleads guilty in PennDot bid-rigging scheme

A Montgomery County contractor pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of bid-rigging in connection with a PennDot bid-rigging scheme, the Attorney General's office announced.

Christopher M. Czop, 47, president of the Norristown-based engineering and surveying firm Czop Specter Inc., is one of nearly a dozen people charged so far in an ongoing fraud probe involving contracts for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation the district that covers Philadelphia and its surrounding suburban counties. 

Czop,  of Collegeville, was charged in April 2015 with befriending a PennDOT assistant district engineer to obtain inspection contracts, according to the Attorney General's office.

The company profited from "massive overbilling" by submitting fraudulant mileage and hours on the contract, which was directed toward work in Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware counties.

In December 2014, the Attorney General's office presented information to a grand jury recommending criminal charges against Czop and 10 others, including PennDot supervisors, inspectors and consultant inspectors accused of a widespread overbilling scheme that defrauded the state of at least $1.2 million.

Of the 10 other defendants, one has died, one defendant's case is still pending and the other eight defendants have either have either pleaded guilty or have been accepted into a first time offender program.

The investigation is still ongoing, according to the Attorney General's office.