GA contractor indicted in $200K transit-agency fraud scheme
- A Savannah, GA, grand jury has indicted a Georgia contractor for his role in a fraudulent billing scheme involving officials from the Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT), according to WSAV News 3.
- Prosecutors allege that between July 2013 and November 2015, Anthony Florence — owner of SR Contracting — submitted more than $200,000 in fake invoices to two former CAT officials, and those individuals approved his billings in exchange for kickbacks in the form of cash and free construction work at their homes. Florence's company had a contract with CAT for system maintenance, repairs and other services.
- If Florence is convicted, he faces a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Former CAT employees Chadwick Reese and Joel Morris have already been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution in other CAT-related fraud cases, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Prosecutors and judges will often try to make examples out of those who are supposed to be acting for the public good in their positions at government-funded agencies, but these types of cases continue to pop up.
In nearby Atlanta, two contractors have been charged with fraud involving government contracts. In February, federal prosecutors charged two Atlanta contractors with bribery and fraud for allegedly paying city officials in an effort to win lucrative construction contracts. Charles P. Richards Jr. and Elvin "E.R." Mitchell Jr. allegedly paid a total of almost $1.2 million to someone in the city contracting office, who passed it along to other individuals with decision-making power in the contract award process.
In Pennsylvania just last month, prosecutors charged a U.S. Army Contracting Command New Jersey employee with conspiracy to defraud the government by accepting bribes from construction contractors in exchange for ensuring they would win work at two New Jersey military installations. The kickbacks that Kevin Leondi allegedly took included work at his home and cash. Leondi faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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