Bradenton Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Wire And Honest Services Fraud And Distribution Of A Controlled Substance
Orlando, FL –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Joseph Ellicott (43, Bradenton) has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud and one count of distribution of a controlled substance. Ellicott faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. His sentencing is scheduled for April 26, 2022, before Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell.
According to court documents, in January 2017, Ellicott was hired by a government agency in Seminole County (Governmental Agency) as a Special Projects Manager. The elected head of the Governmental Agency was a public official and Ellicott’s friend (Public Official). Beginning at least by January 2017, and continuing through 2019, Ellicott, the Public Official, and a contractor with the Governmental Agency (Contractor Conspirator) conspired with each other to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud.
The conspiracy involved the Contractor Conspirator and the Contractor Conspirator’s company entering into a contract with the Governmental Agency to provide goods and services to the Governmental Agency. The Contractor Conspirator and the Contractor Conspirator’s company submitted inflated invoices for payment. The Public Official agreed to use his official position to provide favorable official action on behalf of the Contractor Conspirator and the Contractor Conspirator’s company, including by continuing to employ the Contractor Conspirator and the Contractor Conspirator’s company and by causing the Contractor Conspirator and the Contractor Conspirator’s company to be paid, including for the inflated invoices. In exchange for the Public Official providing such favorable official action, the Contractor Conspirator agreed to pay bribes and kickbacks to the Public Official. Ellicott’s role in the conspiracy was to serve as the intermediary for the payment of a bribe and kickback of $6,000 that was made on September 25, 2017.
Further, for at least two years, Ellicott illegally sold Adderall to others. Over the course of at least two years, one of Ellicott’s customers paid him more than $5,000 for hundreds of Adderall pills.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer M. Harrington and Amanda S. Daniels and United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.