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Press Release

Former J.E. Dunn Employee, Two Business Owners Indicted for $840,000 Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former employee of J.E. Dunn Construction Company along with the owners of two firms charged with paying illegal kickbacks have been indicted by a federal grand jury for an $840,400 fraud scheme.

John L. Kirwin, 45, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Brian A. Newkirk, 49, of Houston, Texas, and Debi K. Jordan, 52, of Tulsa, Okla., were charged in a 38-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The indictment was unsealed and made public today following Kirwin’s arrest.

Kirwin was employed by J.E. Dunn Construction Company as an internal recruiter from August 2013 through April 13, 2016. His duties included finding qualified candidates for job vacancies. Kirwin worked with outside employment recruitment agencies to locate and employ J.E. Dunn personnel for construction projects across the country. If the recruit was actually hired, J.E. Dunn paid a fee to the outside employment recruitment agencies.

Kirwin hired Newkirk’s firm, Search Group International, and two firms owned by Jordan, Recruitegist and Sourcegist, to locate suitable employees for J.E. Dunn. The federal indictment alleges that Newkirk and Jordan paid a total of $414,001 in secret illegal kickbacks to Kirwin. On numerous occasions, the indictment says, the employee designated by the recruitment firms did not become an employee of J.E. Dunn. In those instances, the recruitment firms operated by Jordan and Newkirk were not entitled to any payments.

According to the indictment, J.E. Dunn paid Search Group International a total of $427,450 for recruitment services from May 2014 through March 15, 2016. The owner of the firm allegedly paid kickbacks to Kirwin totaling $245,285. J.E. Dunn paid Recruitegist and Sourcegist a total of $372,950 from November 2013 through Sept. 30, 2015. The owner of those firms allegedly paid kickbacks to Kirwin totaling $168,716.

The federal indictment charges Kirwin and Newkirk with 18 counts of wire fraud related to wire payments made by J.E. Dunn to Search Group International that involved kickbacks paid to Kirwin. The indictment charges Kirwin and Jordan with 20 counts of mail fraud related to checks that were mailed by J.E. Dunn to Recruitegist and Sourcegist that involved kickbacks paid to Kirwin.

J.E. Dunn’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct absolutely prohibited Kirwin from accepting payment of cash from suppliers or others who do business, or have expressed an interest in doing business, with J.E. Dunn.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Kirwin, Newkirk and Jordan to forfeit to the government $800,400, which represents the proceeds of the fraud scheme.

Larson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General.

Updated April 20, 2017

Financial Fraud