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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cabell County man charged in connection to W.Va. Division of Highways pay-to-play scheme

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A Lesage, West Virginia man is facing a federal tax charge, Acting United States Attorney Betsy Steinfeld Jividen announced.

Andrew P. Nichols is named in a one count information, charging him with “Conspiracy to Impede the Internal Revenue Service.” Nichols is accused of conspiring with others to impede tax collection by the IRS. The criminal conduct in this matter occurred from 2009 until at least 2011.

Nichols was previously named in an indictment in November 2016, accused of being a part of a scheme which caused approximately $1.5 million worth of West Virginia Division of Highways work to be routed to the Dennis Corporation, a Columbia, South Carolina engineering consulting firm.

Nichols, age 38, formerly served as the manager of the West Virginia Division of the Dennis Corporation while also working as an engineering professor. According to the initial indictment, he was alleged to have managed the financial relationships between Dennis Corporation and a Division of Highways employee, and to have ensured that elicit payments were mad e to the WVDOH employee.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the West Virginia State Police.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 5, 2017