ANTHONY PENN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO DEFRAUDING THE UNITED STATES
ANTHONY PENN, age 51, a resident of New Orleans, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr., to a one-count indictment for conspiring to defraud the United States by accepting kickback payments in connection with a disaster clean up contract administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced U.S Attorney Dana Boente.
According to court documents, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hired a national firm called Phillips and Jordan to manage the removal of storm debris from the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the metro area. After they were awarded the contract, Phillips and Jordan hired Company A, a local solid waste management company to assist with the debris removal project. After securing the contract, Company A hired PENN to manage the debris removal project for them. After some time on the job, PENN approached the owner of Company A and asked if he would consider hiring KCJ Enterprises as a sub-tier subcontractor. The owner of Company A accepted the recommendation and hired KCJ Enterprises to work on the project. Sometime thereafter, PENN asked Kenneth Johnson, Sr., owner of KCJ Enterprises, to provide him with a cut of the payments that KCJ Enterprises was receiving from Company A as a reward for steering the contract to him. Johnson agreed to the plan and began wiring funds to PENN’s bank account. In total, PENN received $222,261.55 in kickback payments from Johnson during the scheme.
PENN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years, a fine of $250,000 and 3 years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for July 10, 2013.
Johnson is currently awaiting trial scheduled for July 29, 2013. If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum term of 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and 3 years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Department of Defense. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org