The Dept. of Justice charged a former Alberici Constructors Inc. vice president and another man over an alleged kickback scheme that prosecutors say cost the company $4.8 million.
A federal grand jury in St. Louis, where Alberici is based, indicted former vice president, Clone Jefferson Oliver, and Georgia businessman Kenneth Simmons June 13.
Oliver (aka Jeff Oliver or J.J. Clone) and Simmons are also defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by Alberici in April 2011 on similar claims of a fraudulent kickback scheme. The civil lawsuit has yet to be resolved.
The criminal charges are the result of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. The indictment alleges that the scheme occurred during Alberici’s $238-million contract for the upgrade and expansion of the Arlington County Water Pollution and Control Plant in Virginia, which commenced in 2006.
The indictment claims that Simmons, acting as president of supplier Industrial and Municipal Supply Inc., and Oliver allegedly sent to Alberici for payment inflated and falsified change orders and invoices from IMS and another subcontractor, American Construction Services Inc. (referred to in the indictment as “Real ACS”).
The charges further allege that when Alberici paid the orders and invoices, excess funds paid to American Construction Services would supposedly be diverted to IMS, which were then allegedly sent to Tennessee corporation Advanced Construction Solutions (referred to in the indictment as “Fake ACS”).
The indictment claims that Advanced Construction Solutions was formed by Oliver, and that it would allegedly pay the excess funds directly to Oliver and Simmons. Further claims state that excess funds paid by Alberici to IMS were allegedly paid directly to Oliver and Simmons.
Allegations estimate IMS’s subcontract value at $5 million before the supposedly inflated and falsified change orders and invoices. Among the allegedly illegitimate charges were the costs of employment and a vehicle for Oliver’s wife.
Oliver and Simmons are charged with five counts of mail and wire fraud each. Oliver is also charged with two counts of money laudering.
The government has filed two civil forfeiture proceedings against properties supposedly acquired or financed with the ill-gotten funds: a $1.1 million home in Apollo Beach, Fla., and a home in Zephyrhills, Fla. The government has also seized two boats, a boat trailer, two Sea Doo water craft, a Mercedes vehicle, a diamond ring, and proceeds from the sale of two Harley Davidson motorcycles and a boat dock and refinancing of a Lake Martin, Ala. property.
American Construction Services and its president are not named in federal indictment, but they are defendants in the civil suit, as is president of Advanced Construction Solutions Pamela Whitmore.
Representatives for Alberici and Oliver, and the district attorney’s office, did not respond to calls for comment.