Former Bloomington official charged in scheme

Downtown Bloomington (WTHR file photo)
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A former Bloomington projects manager who federal prosecutors allege stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds has been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy.

The U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis said Wednesday that 43-year-old Justin Wykoff faces 24 counts of embezzlement for allegedly approving fraudulent invoices, often for concrete work worth $800,000 that was never done. He also has been charged with one count of conspiracy.

He could face up to 10 years on each count if convicted.

Prosecutors say Wykoff received kickbacks of about one-third of the amounts paid for the fraudulent work over a 2½-year period.

Public records don't say whether he has an attorney.

Federal agents arrested Wykoff at his home early Wednesday.

Two other men have also been charged in the scheme. Roger D. Hardin, 51, and his son, Zachary, 25, both of Bedford, face charges.

More from the US attorney:

The criminal complaint alleges that from May 13, 2011 to February 14, 2014, acting as the Manager of Engineering Services and, thereafter, as a Senior Project Manager for the City of Bloomington, Wykoff approved false invoices which caused the City to pay more than $800,000 for work on concrete projects that was never completed at all or actually done by other construction companies. In furtherance of this scheme, the co-conspirators sent false invoices to the City for payment to Reliable Concrete Construction (RCC), a company owned by the Hardins. Once paid by the City, the money was then deposited into an account held by Roger and Zachary Hardin.

The complaint further alleges that the Hardins would then make cash payments to Wykoff. Invoices were presented and paid at least 24 times over a two and one half year period. Wykoff received thirty-three percent (33%) of each fraudulent invoice. The cash returned to Wykoff were alleged kickbacks for his approval of the invoices. The case involved projects for concrete work to be performed on Rogers Street and College Avenue. The investigation is ongoing and the final amount of loss has not yet been determined.

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