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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Superintendent of Muncie’s sewer maintenance and engineering and Muncie businessman face charges in corruption and fraud schemes

PRESS RELEASE

Indianapolis-United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today that two men from the Muncie area, one a city employee, and the other, a local businessman, have been charged in two separate, but related, indictments in federal court.

“The City of Muncie deserves better from its public officials,” said Minkler. “Public servants are appointed to serve the public, and not the other way around.”

Tracy Barton, 49, Selma, Indiana, faces charges for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, falsification of documents in a federal investigation, and witness tampering. Local businessman Jeffrey Burke, 57, Muncie, faces charges for bank fraud, making false statements to an FBI agent, and obstruction of grand jury proceedings.

Since 2013, Barton has served as the Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance and Engineering for the Muncie Sanitary District. A Grand Jury has charged Barton with abusing his position of authority and influence by fraudulently steering contracts to preferred contractors, and soliciting and accepting kickbacks in the form of cash, cash equivalents, or contributions, to Barton and other Muncie employees. Barton has further been charged with falsifying documents and tampering with a witness in contemplation of a criminal investigation.

Burke is a local businessman in Muncie who owns Burke Rentals 1, LLC and McGalliard Guns & More Inc.  The Grand Jury has charged Burke with bank fraud, making false statements to FBI agents, and obstruction of grand jury proceedings—all arising out of Burke’s fraudulent purchase of the Muncie Flea Market located at 1706 E. Main Street, in Muncie, from the Muncie Sanitary District.

This cases were investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

“These Indictments would not have been possible if not for the tenacity, hard work and dedication of the FBI Indianapolis Public Corruption Squad,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “Holding those who are in a position of trust accountable is a responsibility we take seriously. We continue to prioritize these investigations.”

“Muncie entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to compete with the illegal business practices of others,” said Gabriel Grchan, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Financial fraud and abuse have no place in our communities. These indictments further illustrate that corrupt practices will not go unnoticed by federal law enforcement agencies. Violators will be held accountable.”

According to Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who is prosecuting these cases for the government, both defendants face decades of imprisonment if convicted.

Both men had their initial appearance at 2:30 p.m. today in federal court.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to prosecuting large-scale fraud schemes that warrant federal resources and arrest those who abuse their positions of trust. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 5.1

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Updated September 18, 2018