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News » US » Tennessee contractor jailed over kickbacks » published 15 Jun 2017

Tennessee contractor jailed over kickbacks

A Tennessee contractor has been sentenced for giving kickbacks tied to construction work at Fulton County Detention Center.

Ronald D Armstrong, 60, was sentenced to 35 months in prison and ordered to pay US$100,000 restitution. The Dresden, Tennessee, business owner and contract supplier was sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to defraud Fulton County citizens, through kickbacks and concealment of costs associated with work performed on the expansion of the detention center.

“Public corruption, in any form, cannot be tolerated," stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. "When contractors pay kickbacks to public officials, they effectively steal from taxpayers and facilitate the corruption. Public office must never be used for unlawful self-enrichment, whether by our elected officials or those having business with government agencies. The Department of Justice will work to prevent this corruption and maintain the public's trust in government integrity."

Armstrong pled guilty to four charges including Honest Services Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud for his role in a conspiracy that involved then Fulton County Jailer Ricky D Parnell and others between April 2015 and August 2016.

Armstrong is the owner of Armstrong Construction, located in Dresden, Tennessee. The company often performed contracting work for Fulton County both as part of the Fulton County Detention Center expansion and for work done prior to the project. Armstrong has been doing business with Parnell and Fulton County for approximately 20 years.

Armstrong was awarded a US$210,000 general contractor contract by the Fulton County Fiscal Court as part of the project. Parnell influenced the Fulton County Fiscal Court to award the contract to Armstrong. There was an understanding that Armstrong would pay Parnell US$100,000 of his fees to as a kickback for being awarded the contract. In following through with this agreement, Armstrong so far has paid Parnell US$80,000 in cash.

Armstrong and Parnell both profited from their arrangement and neither the Fulton County Fiscal Court nor the citizens of Fulton County were ever made aware of the arrangement, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Armstrong was charged by grand jury indictment, with co-defendants Ricky D Parnell of Hickman, Kentucky; Michael Homra of Fulton, Kentucky; Jimmy Boyd of South Fulton, Tennessee; and Daniel C Larcom, of Union City, Tennessee in November 2016. Larcom will be sentenced on June 15th and Parnell will be sentenced on July 24th. Charges against Boyd were dismissed on motion of the United States.

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 FBI.

 

MPU

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This article was published on 15 Jun 2017 (last updated on 15 Jun 2017).

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