The South Lake Tahoe office of Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix, Inc., was raided Thursday by investigators looking for evidence of possible fraud related to government construction contracts, according to city officials.
The investigation began after city public works engineers recently learned that Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix was “possibly issuing false or fraudulent documents relating to government construction contracts,” a city news release states.
City engineers notified the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, and District Attorney Vern Pierson was brought into the case “as it was apparent that the situation would have implications for city, county and state government entities,” according to the press release.
While it wasn’t immediately clear what those implications are, City Manager Nancy Kerry said in an email that they are “staggering.”
“This is disturbing news for our community,” Kerry said in a statement. “The foundation of our community, literally, is in their hands. I commend the consulting firm and our staff engineers for bringing this to our immediate attention. The quick action of our Police Chief (Brian Uhler), police officers, and District Attorney’s Office ensured no further harm to the public.”
On Thursday morning, warrants were served at Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix on Highway 50 and a related residence, and evidence was obtained during the searches, according to the city news release.
South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office served the warrants.
Phone calls to the business were not returned by deadline Thursday evening. Additionally, repeated calls to the residence of Donald Wallace, who is named as the agent for service of process at Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix, according to California Secretary of State files, went unanswered.
The city recommends that anyone who bought concrete from Sierra-Tahoe Ready Mix get verification from an independent source regarding the quality of the concrete.
As for the investigation, it is continuing with decisions about a possible criminal prosecution to be made once it’s complete and all evidence is thoroughly assessed. Anyone believing they may have been a victim of fraud, or has information on the matter, is asked to contact the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office at 530-621-6484.