News and Press Releases

Final defendants sentenced in $900,000 kick-Back scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the last two defendants have been sentenced in federal court for their role in a nearly $900,000 bid-rigging scheme that involved several contractors.

Thomas Villirillo, 49, of Olathe, Kan., and Jaime Grimsley, 33, of Overland Park, Kan., were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, to five years of probation. The court also ordered Villirillio to pay $105,560 in restitution and Grimsley to pay $79,167 in restitution.

On Jan. 3, 2013, Villirillo pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Villirillo was the owner of Reliable Construction, which fulfilled construction contracts for CRES Management. Between June 2008 and May 2009, Villirillo conspired to pay approximately $105,560 in kickbacks to co-conspirators Christopher Grimsley, 43, of Overland Park (Jaime Grimsley’s husband), and Jo Den Napper, 40, of Lenexa, Kan.

Christopher Grimsley and Napper were directors of construction for Aimco (and, later, CRES Management) and in charge of procuring bids for renovating apartment complexes. In exchange for these kickbacks, Christopher Grimsley and Napper agreed to rig bids in Villirillo’s favor without the knowledge of Aimco or CRES Management. Among other things, Villirillo used his credit card to pay for hotel accommodations in Las Vegas for Grimsley and his wife, Jaime Grimsley, in exchange for granting his bids to complete construction work.

On May 2, 2013, Jaime Grimsley pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. Jaime Grimsley formed Geronimo Consultants in 2004, which she admitted was used to deposit kickback payments to her husband, Christopher Grimsley, from various building contractors. Between 2005 and 2008, the Grimsleys filed false tax returns omitting kickback income of $217,981, for a tax loss of $79,167.

Christopher Grimsley was sentenced on March 28, 2011, to 41 months in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $538,340 in restitution after pleading guilty to mail fraud. Between May 2003 and May 2009, Christopher Grimsley accepted approximately $538,340 in kickbacks from various contractors in the Kansas City area. In exchange for these kickbacks, he agreed to rig bids in favor of the contractors without the knowledge of Aimco.

Napper, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud, was sentenced on Aug. 28, 2013, to one year and one day in federal prison without parole. Between August 2004 and May 2009, Napper accepted approximately $355,749 in kickbacks from various contractors. In exchange for these kickbacks, Napper agreed to rig bids in favor of the contractors without the knowledge of CRES Management.

Tim Rowland, 45, of Platte City, pleaded guilty to his role in the mail fraud conspiracy and was sentenced on March 30, 2013 to five years of probation and ordered to pay $298,765 in restitution. Rowland was the owner of ATNJ, a construction company that fulfilled contracts for Aimco Apartment Management. Between November 2004 and May 2009, Rowland conspired to pay approximately $298,765 in kickbacks to Christopher Grimsley and Napper.

Chris Childers, 44, of Olathe, Kan., pleaded guilty to his role in the mail fraud conspiracy and was sentenced on July 23, 2013, to one year of probation and ordered to pay $179,570 in restitution. Childers was the owner of All State Renovations, which fulfilled construction contracts for CRES Management. Between May 2004 and April 2009, Childers conspired to pay approximately $179,570 in kickbacks to Grimsley and Napper. In exchange for these kickbacks, they agreed to rig bids in Childers’s favor without the knowledge of CRES Management.

Bernie Belcher, 57, of Olathe, Kan., pleaded guilty to his role in the mail fraud conspiracy and was sentenced on July 30, 2013, to five years of probation and ordered to pay $201,223 in restitution. Belcher was the owner of All State Roofing, which fulfilled construction contracts for Aimco Apartment Management. Between May 2003 and May 2009, Belcher conspired to pay approximately $201,224 in kickbacks to Grimsley and Napper. In exchange for these kickbacks, they agreed to rig bids in Belcher’s favor without the knowledge of Aimco.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Linda Parker Marshall and William L. Meiners. They were investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General.

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