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Press Release

Jury Finds Founder of South Carolina Construction Firm Guilty of Charges Related to Kickback Payments, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

COVINGTON, Ky. – The founder of Berenyi, Inc., headquartered in Charleston, SC, Antoine “Tony” Berenyi, 63, was found guilty late Tuesday, by a federal jury sitting in Covington, following a six-day trial, of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud, and 10 counts of money laundering.

According to the evidence at trial, beginning in late 2017, Berenyi entered into an illegal kickback agreement with Jaymin Vinson, an employee of Nucor Steel Gallatin, to deprive Nucor of money and Vinson’s honest services as an employee.  Berenyi and Vinson agreed that Vinson would help steer a $14,950,000 construction management contract for a $650 million Nucor mill expansion project to Berenyi’s company and provide other services on behalf of Berenyi within Nucor, in exchange for Berenyi paying Vinson a 15% kickback on the contract, all without Nucor’s knowledge or approval.  Berenyi’s secret kickback payments continued into 2019, totaling over $452,000 kicked back to Vinson.           

Berenyi was indicted in October 2022.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office, jointly announced the guilty verdict.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI.  The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Chapman and Kyle Winslow.   

Berenyi is scheduled to appear for sentencing on December 13, 2023.  He faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud count; up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire fraud counts, and not more than 10 years in prison on each count of money laundering.  However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.  Berenyi also faces potential fines, a forfeiture money judgment, and a judgment of restitution, as ordered by the Court.

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CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE:  (859) 685-4887



Updated July 19, 2023

Financial Fraud