Misrepresentations and criminal liability in project reporting: a case study of the failed Virgil C. summer project

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The misreporting of project information during the delivery of construction and engineering aligned projects has received substantial attention in the literature. While such intentional misreporting appears in only a minority of instances, its occurrence can expose construction and engineering-aligned companies and their principal officers to legal jeopardy, criminal liability, and sanction. To explore this phenomenon, this study conducts a case review of the failed Virgil C. Summer nuclear expansion project and the ensuing civil and criminal complaints against personnel at both SCANA (the client/owner) and Westinghouse Electric (the primary contractor). The findings suggest that various individual, project, organizational, and attributable factors drive project status information misreporting. The findings also suggest that criminal liability arises from its practice due to the economic harm that such practice causes. The originality of the paper is threefold. First, it espouses a perspective of intentional misreporting as fraudulent misrepresentation not previously examined in construction and engineering-aligned project scholarship. Second, it examines the different categories of factors driving such misreporting. Third, utilizing applicable common law legal tests, the study examines the impact of such practices within the framework of corporate illegality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04523023
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number3
Early online date28 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • criminal liability
  • illegality
  • misreporting
  • misrepresentation
  • projects
  • reports


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