December 23, 2013

Attorney General announces $429,000 settlement from McKeesport firm's illegal use of foreign-made steel

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today that she has settled a lawsuit with the McKeesport-based Ryco companies and their owners, Robert Bosco and Thomas Sherry, Jr., over their use of non-U.S. made steel in public works projects. The firm and its owners will pay $429,000 and must comply with a seven-year injunction that will help guarantee these violations do not occur again.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and alleged that Ryco, Inc. and a variety of affiliated firms, all owned and operated by the same principals in the same location, used foreign-made steel in public works projects in violation of the Steel Products Procurement Act ("SPPA"). The lawsuit also alleged violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law ("CPL"), and the Pennsylvania Corrupt Organizations Act ("PCOA").

"The use of American-made steel and other products in projects funded by taxpayer dollars helps protect American companies and, most importantly, good-paying American jobs," Attorney General Kane said. "This law was established to promote and stimulate an industry that has helped build Pennsylvania and sustain many of its families. This settlement sends a strong message that we take our promise to Pennsylvania's workers very seriously."

As alleged, Ryco defendants illegally installed foreign steel in public projects across Western Pennsylvania, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Blairsville-Saltzburg School District, and Norwin School District. Not only did Ryco allegedly break the ban in the SPPA on using foreign steel for public works projects, but Ryco also allegedly misled these public entities into paying them by falsely certifying compliance with the SPPA in violation of the SPPA, CPL, and PCOA.

These public entities paid the Ryco Defendants approximately $1.5 million for these publicly-funded projects.

The civil complaint named Ryco Fire Protection Services, LLC, of 1215 Market St., McKeesport, along with Ryco Fire Protection Services, LP; Ryco Plumbing, LLC; Ryco Plumbing, LP; Ryco Plumbing II, LLC; Ryco Plumbing II, LP; and Ryco, Inc., all sharing the same address.

The civil suit also named Thomas Sherry, Jr., the President of Ryco, Inc.; Susan E. Sherry, the Secretary and Treasurer of Ryco, Inc.; Richard Bosco, Vice President of Ryco, Inc.; and other unidentified officers, owners and directors of these businesses.

The litigation and settlement were handled by Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph Betsko and Deputy Attorney General Norman Marden.

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