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Home U.S.A Cleveland councilman charged with stealing $127K in false expense report scheme

Cleveland councilman charged with stealing $127K in false expense report scheme

A veteran Cleveland councilman was busted Tuesday on fees of bilking the town out of greater than $127,000 over an eight-year span, federal prosecutors stated.

Democrat Kenneth Johnson, who was elected in 1980, was arrested by FBI brokers in Cleveland after a federal grand jury named him in a 15-count indictment with violations associated to federal program theft, the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Northern District of Ohio introduced Tuesday.

The indictment alleges that Johnson, 74, and two accomplices stole from the town coffers by getting reimbursement checks from its normal fund for upkeep bills in Ward 4 that had been by no means carried out.

Johnson and co-defendant Garnell Jamison, the councilman’s government assistant of greater than 20 years, first approached a metropolis recreation worker, Robert Fitzpatrick, in 2010 and requested the employee to carry out upkeep providers like slicing grass, property checks and snow removing, in accordance with the indictment.

Fitzpatrick, who pleaded responsible to his position within the scheme earlier this month, carried out the duties for six weeks, however was by no means paid by Johnson nor Jamison, federal prosecutors stated.

“Fitzpatrick didn’t carry out any ward providers after the preliminary six weeks and continued to obtain his wage from the town,” prosecutors stated in an announcement.

However Jamison, 61, delivered timesheets to Fitzpatrick, who signed them although the employee didn’t truly carry out ward service previous the preliminary six-week span, authorities stated.

Jamison is accused of giving the timesheet to Johnson for his approval, which he submitted along with his official council expense experiences to be reimbursed. The councilman then allegedly requested the utmost reimbursement of $1,200 for every month of bills between January 2010 and October 2018.

Every test was later deposited into a private checking account owned by Johnson, totaling roughly $127,000, federal prosecutors stated.

Johnson is dealing with fees together with conspiracy to commit federal program theft, federal program theft, aiding and helping within the preparation of false tax returns, witness tampering and falsification of information in a federal investigation.

“The allegations set forth in at the moment’s indictment element the exploitation of public workplace for private acquire,” Appearing US Lawyer Bridget M. Brennan stated. “Such conduct might carry a couple of short-term monetary profit for these concerned, however it harms the general public’s confidence in its elected officers. The place an elected official is alleged to have disregarded their oath and obligations, the general public ought to stay assured that we’ll not disregard ours.”

Johnson, one of many Cleveland’s longest-serving metropolis council members, was elected in 1980, reported.

Makes an attempt to achieve Johnson’s lawyer had been unsuccessful, the outlet reported Tuesday.

A 3rd man, John Hopkins, who labored as the chief director of The Buckeye Shaker Sq. Growth Company in Johnson’s ward, was additionally charged with conspiracy to commit federal program theft and federal program theft.

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