United States Attorney David Capp
Northern District of Indiana
5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 1500
Hammond, Indiana 46320
Hammond South Bend Fort Wayne
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton
February 3, 2010 PHONE: (219) 937-5500
www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/ Fax: (219) 852-2770
TWO CHARGED IN PUBLIC CORRUPTION INDICTMENT
Hammond, Indiana—The United States Attorney's Office announced today that a four count indictment was returned against George Pabey and Jose Angel Camacho. Pabey, 59, is the Mayor of East Chicago, Indiana. Camacho, 52, was a Supervisor/Division Manager in the Engineering Department of the City of East Chicago, and is currently assigned to the East Chicago Marina. The indictment alleges that from October 2007 through August 2008, Pabey and Camacho conspired to unlawfully convert property and services of the City of East Chicago to Pabey’s personal use.
In December, 2007, Pabey and his daughter purchased a single family residence at 8530 Locust Avenue, Gary, Indiana, hereinafter “the Miller residence”. The indictment alleges that Pabey and Camacho conspired to use skilled laborers who were employees of East Chicago to work at the Miller residence. Work performed included the pouring of concrete, painting of the interior, and installation of improvements. While working at the Miller residence, employees were paid by the City of East Chicago.
In addition, the indictment alleges that Camacho utilized a City of East Chicago engineering account to purchase items for the Miller residence. Items purchased included a bathtub, bathtub surround, 40 gallon gas heater, and numerous doors. These items were all billed to and paid by the City of East Chicago. City employees installed these items in the Miller residence.
Count 1 alleges that Pabey and Camacho conspired to violate 18 U.S.C. § 666, a statute covering conversion or fraud relating to entities receiving federal funds. Count 2 of the indictment alleges a specific violation of that statute. The City of East Chicago received in excess of $10,000 in federal funds during the relevant time period, a jurisdictional requirement of this statute.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture from Pabey of any property constituting proceeds of the alleged activity in Counts 1 and 2. If convicted on either of those counts, the United States would seek to forfeit from the Miller residence an amount connected to the improper use of city workers and city accounts.
Counts 3 and 4 allege attempts by Jose Camacho to interfere with witnesses. Count 3 alleges that Camacho approached one of the city employees who worked on the Miller residence and told that employee to lie to investigators about his work at the Miller residence. Count 4 alleges that Camacho approached another city employee and told that employee not to tell investigators anything about having worked at the Miller residence.
United States Attorney David Capp stated, “ this is another indictment in the ongoing federal effort to investigate public corruption. Our office will continue to investigate allegations of corruption and we will follow the evidence wherever it leads.” Capp praised the excellent work of the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation.
Pabey and Camacho are expected to surrender and appear tomorrow for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Hammond.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the United States Department of Labor-Office of the Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Nozick and Gary Bell.
The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The specific sentence in each case to be imposed upon conviction will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.