A woman who claimed she was a civil engineer and made numerous other false claims in an effort to win a $33 million construction bid for the City of Homestead is facing a fraud charge, authorities said.
Janet Maria LeGrand, 46, was arrested Wednesday on one count of attempted organized scheme to defraud, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday.
According to the warrant, LeGrand submitted a bid last year on behalf of her company, Bleu Network Inc., for Homestead Station, a multi-use project that would be given $33.3 million in public funding.
The city received three bids for the project, but when police started reviewing the bidders and their proposals they "discovered a plethora of misrepresentations and falsehoods" in the Bleu Network bid, the warrant said.
LeGrand claimed to be a licensed civil engineer registered in Florida, and said she had a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami, but both claims were untrue.
She also said her company had offices in Madrid, Buenos Aires, Montreal and on Brickell Avenue in Miami, but none of those offices existed, the warrant said.
LeGrand claimed she has business partners who were involved in the $483 million Ohio State parking garage project and the $942 million Port of Miami tunnel project, but both of those claims were also untrue, the warrant said.
When police looked into her background, they discovered she didn't disclose eight civil litigations she's been a party to, 15 wage complaints filed against her, or a previous felony worthless check case where she was placed on probation, the warrant said.
LeGrand produced a fictitious 2013 letter to the City of Homestead authored by BBVA Compass bank, indicating they financially support her business. Officials with BBVA said letter was forged, according to the warrant.
The warrant said a number of photos and renderings that were in her bid and on her company's website that claimed to be her projects were just taken from the internet, and the references she provided said they didn't recognize her or her company.
"[LeGrand] has methodically created an elaborate facade to make the Bleu Network Inc. appear as a large reputable company with multiple partners in the construction and financial industry," the warrant said.
After LeGrand's company came in third out of the three bids, she filed a protest claiming the selection process was done improperly, the warrant said. She later offered to drop the protest in exchange for $155,000 to cover her expenses, the warrant said. LeGrand later filed a civil lawsuit against the city over the matter.
LeGrand was being held on $50,000 bond Thursday, Miami-Dade jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.