Thursday, August 25, 2011

Allegations of Major Fraud Lead to $8.6 Million Federal Lawsuit

In an unprecedented move, seven people and two companies are being accused of stealing $8.6 million from Adams County though an elaborate scheme involving more than 50 documented cases of alleged fraud, according to a lawsuit filed in Federal Court today by the Adams County Board of Commissioners.

In May, the Board of County Commissioners authorized drafting this lawsuit as part of a sweeping seven-point reform plan designed to end corruption in the county and usher in a new era of good government.

The civil charges are being filed under the RICO Act, also known as the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. The RICO Act alleges that the parties involved worked together in an organized way to commit a crime. The link is called "Allegations of Major Fraud Lead to Federal Lawsuit."

Adams County is filing the lawsuit in Federal Court because the U.S. Postal Service was allegedly used to mail checks between the individuals and companies involved, including Quality Paving and Quality Resurfacing. The lawsuit also targets Leland Asay, the former director of the county?s Public Works Department, who has not been charged in the criminal filings by the 17th Judicial District Attorney, which alleged some $1.8 million in theft involving paving projects.

"We believe the people involved wrongfully took money from every citizen in Adams County and we aim to get it back," stated the Adams County Board of Commissioners. "We are sending a message to our community that corrupt acts will not be tolerated. For all of us, this is just one more step in our mission to weed out corruption and bring good government to Adams County."

The Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator Jim Robinson and county employees will not be able to issue further statements, since they too may be called to testify in the case.

All questions and media interviews are being directed to the law firm of Reilly Pozner, specializing in highly complex cases involving racketeering and fraud. They can be reached at 303.893.6100.

"The case involves billing for paving work on streets that do not exist; double billing to pave streets that were never paved; and billing to pave entire subdivisions that were never paved," said Attorney Larry Pozner.

Also named in the lawsuit are Samuel Vidal Gomez, Stacey Lynn Parkin (formally known as Stacey Lynn Spera), Jerry Lee Rhea, Dennis Glenn Coen, Heath Allen Russo and Louie George Schimpf.

Specifics of the 52 alleged acts of fraud are outlined in the nearly 100-page lawsuit. A full copy of the lawsuit can be accessed under "County Updates" on the main page of the Adams County website. The link is called "Allegations of Major Fraud Lead to Federal Lawsuit."

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