New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Aiding and Abetting Theft of Federal Grant Funds
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Aleksey Krylov, 42, of South Orange, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting theft from programs receiving federal funds. Krylov admitted to diverting $94,197.93 in federal abandoned mine land (AML) remediation sub-grant funds to Jerry D. Elkins, 54, of Danville, West Virginia, while Elkins was an employee of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
According to court documents and statements made in court, from on or about April 2017 until on or about August 7, 2019, Elkins assisted Krylov and one of his companies with their application for a DEP AML pilot program sub-grant. The DEP receives grant funding from the United States Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) for, among other purposes, accelerating the remediation of eligible sites for economic revitalization and community development purposes under the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program.
Since 2016, West Virginia has received $181 million in AMLER block grant funds. Numerous private entities apply to receive AML sub-grants, and the process for selecting projects to receive sub-grant awards is competitive.
Elkins was initially a regional planner and later an inspector for the DEP during the time period, and had become acquainted with Krylov prior to joining the DEP. Krylov and his company proposed to construct and operate an aquaponics facility that would produce commercial quantities of vegetables and fruits at a project site near Madison, West Virginia. To assist Krylov and his company, Elkins collected water samples, provided contacts for public support, boosted Krylov’s project internally at DEP, provided his opinion and suggestions for improving the sub-grant application, and continuously monitored the application’s status.
Krylov admitted to paying Elkins for his services with checks and electronic fund transfers drawn from federal sub-grant disbursements totaling $94,197.93. Krylov further admitted that Elkins had no right to receive these funds and that he aided and abetted Elkins’ actions in fraudulently obtaining the $94,197.93.
Krylov is scheduled to be sentenced on November 16, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Krylov also owes $94.197.93 in restitution. Elkins pleaded guilty to theft from programs receiving federal funds on My 31, 2023, and is awaiting sentencing.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General- Office of Investigations, and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.
United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Holly Wilson is prosecuting the case. Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Robeson made significant contributions to the prosecution.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-99.
Updated July 27, 2023