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COMPANY OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO NOT REPORTING OPELOUSAS HOUSING AUTHORITY BID CONSPIRACY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Kendall Anderson, 41, of Scott, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to charges that he failed to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, from 2007 through 2009, the Opelousas Housing Authority awarded construction contracts primarily to Anderson Iron Works, owned by the defendant, without following the bid rules.  Anderson admitted to assisting Garnett L. Thomas, who was the grant and capital funds coordinator for the OHA and who previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, in creating false bid documents, so that it would appear that the OHA was following the bid rules and laws.  Thomas and Anderson used the names and letterheads of other contractors to make it appear that several companies were placing bids on construction projects, but in fact, Anderson’s company was the only one being considered. After creating these false documents, they were placed in the OHA files to give the appearance that the bid laws were being followed, when in fact, the procurement policies were not followed on virtually every construction project from 2007 through mid-2009.

The defendant then failed to report to law enforcement in June of 2009 that he had knowledge of Opelousas Housing Authority Director Walter Guillory’s and Thomas’ plans to commit wire fraud by creating, sending and receiving fake bids by email in order to circumvent state and federal bid laws.

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