DAYTON – A federal grand jury here has returned indictments against a former Dayton city commissioner, a current city official and two Dayton businessmen, charging them with fraud and public corruption.
The indictments charge:
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber announced the indictments.
“The grand jury alleges that Winburn devised a scheme that deprived the people of Dayton of their right to the honest and faithful services of its public officials through bribery and the concealment of material facts and information regarding minority-owned, woman-owned and small disadvantaged businesses,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. He noted that the investigation is continuing.
Williams is charged with soliciting bribes worth more than $5,000 as a government employee.
Williams served as an elected commissioner of the City of Dayton from 2001 until 2018. In 2015, Williams allegedly accepted a construction project at his personal home by an individual for a greatly reduced price in exchange for influencing the awarding of city contracts to that same individual.
The individual’s business was subsequently awarded at least $150,000 in contracts with both the City of Dayton and CityWide Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that functioned as a development and financing arm of the City of Dayton. CityWide routinely awarded thousands of dollars in contracts to private companies for the demolition of homes in Dayton.
It is alleged that Williams accepted more than $50,000 in free benefits from the individual, including cash payments and the construction of a patio at his home.
In an attempt to conceal the fraud, Williams allegedly demanded the individual create a fake invoice, falsely reflecting that Williams had personally paid the individual more than $50,000 for the home improvement project.
The grand jury charged Luckie with devising a fraudulent scheme to take advantage of programs offered by the federal and state governments to help disadvantaged businesses.
Luckie allegedly purported himself as affiliated with and authorized to speak on behalf of a disadvantaged business that provided administrative support services. He allegedly approached the owner of a demolition company in 2016 or early 2017 and offered Luckie’s company’s certification to help secure a demolition project from the City of Dayton.
He allegedly ordered magnetic signs with his company’s name on it to put on the side of trucks belonging to the actual demolition company. He is accused of sending false invoices for thousands of dollars to the City of Dayton.
Higgins is charged with filing a fraudulent insurance claim in connection with water damage to the Meeker Residence, an 8,000 square-foot house in Dayton. It is alleged that Higgins received more than $100,000 in insurance claims that he used for his personal benefit rather than to repair water damage that occurred from a 600-gallon fish tank.
Higgins allegedly submitted invoices and repair cost estimates from a construction vendor to the insurance company in order to obtain money. According to the indictment, the vendor documents were false and misrepresented the status of repair work at the Meeker Residence.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office, as well as assistant United States Attorneys Brent Tabacchi, SaMee Harden and Dominick Gerace, who are representing the United States in this case.
Indictments merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
If you have any information related to the schemes alleged above, please contact the FBI’s Dayton Public Corruption Tip Line at 937-291-5222.
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