Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Wire Fraud Case Related to Falsified Water Testing in Dale County, Alabama
Montgomery, Ala. – On Thursday, February 16, 2017, Darin Lewis, 46, of Crestview, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, announced United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. Lewis’s conviction stemmed from his involvement in a scheme to falsify water samples during the testing of new water lines installed in Dale County, Alabama.
According to court documents, in 2014, the Dale County Water Authority hired a Florida company, Roberson Excavation, Inc. (Roberson Excavation), to replace water lines in the Marley Mill area of Dale County. Lewis’s co-defendant, Billy Ray Roberson, was the owner and president of Roberson Excavation. Lewis began working on the project around February of 2015. By that time, Roberson Excavation was three months behind schedule on the job and paying penalties of $500 for each day that the project went incomplete. At that time, Roberson instructed his site supervisor, Lewis, to falsify the testing required before the lines went into operation. Among the tests falsified were the tests used to determine whether harmful bacteria were present in the water.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled in the upcoming months where Lewis will face a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment. The other defendants charged in the case, Billy Ray Roberson and Roberson Excavation, will proceed to trial on June 5, 2017 in Dothan, Alabama.
This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division and Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross is prosecuting the case.