FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday - December 2, 2003
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that FRANK THOMAS GRZANDZIEL was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Tuesday, December 2, 2003, for money laundering violations. Senior U. S. District Judge W. Earl Britt imposed a sentence of 57 months imprisonment and a supervised release term of three years. Also, he ordered GRZANDZIEL to pay restitution in the amount of $892,938.75 to Zimmer Development Company, LLC, Wilmington, N. C. In addition, GRZANDZIEL forfeited to the government real property (land and buildings located in the Landfall subdivision in Wilmington), personal property (a 2000 Mercedes-Benz automobile and a 2000 Lexus automobile), and $2,000,000.00 in currency.
GRZANDZIEL, 45, of Wilmington, N. C., was charged in a one-count Criminal Information filed on April 1, 2003, with engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from a specified unlawful activity. He pled guilty to the Criminal Information on June 2, 2003, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office.
According to evidence and testimony presented in court, GRZANDZIEL devised a scheme to defraud his employer, Zimmer Development Company, LLC, out of substantial sums of money on construction contracts he was hired to negotiate and manage. He induced his employer to hire an unqualified general contractor; manipulated bids for construction projects; prepared payment forms for the contractor to submit to Zimmer Development; and then collected between one and two million dollars in kickbacks from the contractor. The "criminally derived funds" were obtained by GRZANDZIEL from his employer by means of false pretenses and representations, and the money was paid by wire to the contractor who, in turn, wired some of the money to GRZANDZIEL as a kickback.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorney Thomas B. Murphy handled the case for the government.