Federal agents, along with the Bloomington Police Department arrested three men this morning who are accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Bloomington taxpayers.
United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett charged former City of Bloomington Senior Project Manager Justin Wykoff with 24 counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy. Roger Hardin, 51, and his son Zachary, 25, have also been charged with conspiracy to commit a federal crime.
“Public corruption wherever it occurs in whatever community throughout the southern district of Indiana degrades all of us,” Hogsett said.
Officials allege that Wykoff is responsible for authorizing invoices for road work that had not been done, or previously completed by a different company. The Hardins, who owned Reliable Concrete Construction, reportedly sent false invoices to the city for repayment.
Officials say the father and son co-conspirators then made cash payments to Wykoff as kickbacks for his approval.
A city public works employee tipped off his supervisor to what he called “suspicious activity.” The supervisor then reported it to the mayor who began working with the police to investigate.
The scheme is said to have occurred from May 13, 2011 to February 14, 2014 and could ultimately cost the city and taxpayers upwards of $800,000.
Special Agent Robert Jones of the FBI’s Indianapolis division said the FBI ranks these public integrity cases as their highest criminal priority.
“There is no acceptable level of corruption for the abuse of power, here in Bloomington or anywhere else in the state,” Jones said.
The accused appeared in Indianapolis court this afternoon and additional charges may be filed at the state level.