Businessman Indicted for Fraud and Money Laundering Involving Charter School Construction
BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against NATHIAN D. HOSSLEY, age 50, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The indictment charges the defendant with five counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, one count of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which requires the defendant to forfeit the proceeds of his fraud if convicted.
The Indictment alleges that the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud Bouma Construction ("Bouma"), a full-service construction company headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from March 2014 through December 2014. According to the Indictment, Bouma hired a company owned by the defendant, First Millennium Construction ("FMC"), to serve as a subcontractor in the construction of the Impact Charter School in Baker, Louisiana.
The Indictment further alleges that, unbeknownst to Bouma, the defendant provided false information in a "Qualification Statement" submitted to Bouma in connection with FMC’s bid for the Impact Charter School project. Additional allegations in the Indictment state that, without knowledge of the defendant’s history of federal convictions, Bouma hired FMC and agreed to pay over $1.2 million for its work on the project.
The Indictment further alleges that, after being hired, the defendant submitted, or caused to be submitted through FMC employees, multiple applications for disbursements of payments by Bouma to FMC in accordance with their contractual agreement. These applications for payments allegedly made false representations related to the amount of work that had been completed by FMC and the amount of money that FMC had paid and still owed to certain subcontractors. It also allegedly omitted the names of numerous subcontractors to which the defendant owed money for work on the project.
The defendant also allegedly forged and caused to be forged signatures of certain FMC subcontractors on joint check agreements and lien waivers for the purpose of obtaining $96,125 in joint checks from Bouma. According to the Indictment, the defendant then forged or caused to be forged the subcontractors’ endorsements on these checks, which were then deposited into the FMC’s bank account. This money was allegedly intended for the four subcontractors, not FMC. Finally, the Indictment alleges that the defendant arranged for another individual to submit a false affidavit claiming responsibility for the forged signatures, which was then sent to the District Attorney for the 19th Judicial District.
The Indictment alleges further that Bouma ultimately paid over $948,000 to FMC, less than half of which was paid to subcontractors to which the defendant owed money for work on the Impact Charter School project and that, during the relevant time period, the defendant diverted tens of thousands of dollars from FMC’s bank account to sources which benefitted him personally.
United States Attorney Green stated: "My office is committed to rooting out and aggressively pursuing dishonest businesspeople who seek to advance themselves through fraud. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the FBI and our other federal, state, and local partners to appropriately address any such criminality."
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan Crosswell and Rene Salomon.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.