Fulton County Contract Supplier Guilty Of Giving Kickbacks Tied To Construction Of Fulton County Detention Center
PADUCAH, Ky. – A Fulton County, Kentucky, business owner and contract supplier pled guilty today in United States District Court before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell for his role in a conspiracy to defraud Fulton County citizens, through kickbacks and concealment of costs associated with work performed on the 2015 Fulton County Detention Center expansion, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Michael Homra, 79, pled guilty to three charges including Honest Services Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud for his role in a conspiracy that allegedly involved then Fulton County Jailer Ricky D. Parnell and others between April 2015 and August 2016.
According to the plea agreement, Homra is the owner of The Leader Store located in Fulton, Kentucky. His company often sold building materials to Fulton County as part of the Detention Center expansion project. Homra allowed Parnell to use The Leader Store as a middleman company for building supplies ordered during the project and paid Parnell cash kickbacks while the project was ongoing.
The agreement between Homra and Parnell was for Parnell to inflate prices that The Leader Store charged Fulton County for purchases and then for Homra to pay Parnell 50% of the profits from these purchases. Homra would pay Parnell with cash and paid Parnell between $10,000 and $25,000.
Further, according to the plea agreement, Homra knowingly and voluntarily agreed and conspired with Parnell to give Parnell cash kickbacks, both as a favor to Parnell and so that Parnell would continue to use The Leader Store as a supplier for the Fulton County Detention Center, which Parnell could do because he was the Fulton County Jailer. As part of their kickback scheme, Fulton County paid The Leader Store by check in amounts of $54,364.00 and $66,530.58.
Homra was charged by grand jury indictment, with co-defendants Ricky D. Parnell, 59, of Hickman, Kentucky; Ronald D. Armstrong, 60, of Dresden, Tennessee; Jimmy Boyd, 56, of South Fulton, Tennessee; and Daniel C. Larcom, 42, of Union City, Tennessee, on November 15, 2016 and were arraigned in United States District Court in Paducah, before Magistrate Judge Lanny King that same day.
If convicted at trial, the defendants could be sentenced to no more than 20 years in prison per count, pay a $250,000 fine for each count, and be sentenced to serve a three-year period of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute Bonner and is being investigated by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).