georgia contractor pleads guilty to fraud against alberici constructors, inc.
St. Louis, MO –KENNETH MARC SIMMONS, who ran a business which supplied materials to an Alberici Constructors, Inc. project in Arlington, Virginia, pled guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud Alberici by inflating invoices.
Kenneth Marc Simmons, La Grange GA, pled guilty to two felony counts of mail fraud and two felony counts of wire fraud before United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Sentencing is scheduled for December 18, 2013.
According to court documents, Clone Jefferson Oliver was the project manager for Alberici on a project to build a water treatment plant in Arlington County, Virginia. Work on the project began in September 2006 and the cost of the project was $238,000,000. Simmons and Oliver participated in a scheme to defraud Alberici through the preparation and submission of inflated invoices and false change orders for materials provided to the project by Simmons' business, Industrial and Municipal Supply (IMS). When IMS received payment on the bad invoices, Simmons kept a share and then forwarded money in the nature of kickbacks to Oliver. Simmons made many of the payments to a corporation formed by Oliver called Advanced Construction Solutions, which had the same initials (ACS) as another supplier to the Arlington project, American Construction Services. The indictment refers to Oliver's company as the "fake ACS" while the latter company is referred to as the “real ACS.” Simmons admitted that, in the scheme, Alberici was overbilled in the amount of $4.8 million from 2006 through 2011.
Co-defendant Clone Jefferson Oliver, Apollo Beach FL, former vice-president of St. Louis-based Alberici Constructors, Inc., was indicted in June on seven counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, and awaits trial.
Each count of mail and wire fraud with each carries a maximum prison term of 20 years in prison and/or fines to $250,000. Oliver is charged in two additional counts of money laundering with each count carrying a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a fine up to $250,000. If convicted, each defendant would be subject to an order of restitution in favor of Alberici.
Simmons will be liable to pay restitution to Alberici in the amount of $4.8 million. Simmons told the court that, as part of his agreement with the Government, he would agree to the forfeiture of $1.1 million from an investment account in addition to $143,000 from other accounts. The parties advised the court that Simmons also forfeited assets prior to the guilty plea, including $200,000 from a property in Dadeville, AL, $23,000 from the sale of two motorcycles and $47,000 from the sale of a boat and a boat slip. The money generated by these forfeitures will be paid over to Alberici as part of the restitution. Simmons agreed that he will be liable to pay restitution of that part of the $4.8 million loss remaining after these forfeiture payments.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys James E. Crowe, Jr., Anthony Franks and Richard Finneran are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Defendant Oliver is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.