A federal grand jury indicted two men Thursday on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Jerry Jones, former vice president of Birmingham engineering and consulting firm Arcadis, and Mount Vernon Mayor Terry Williams were indicted for conspiring between December 2014 and January 2016 to create false invoices and submitting them for payment to the Birmingham Water Works Board for work purportedly performed on the Shades Mountain Filter Plant project, Birmingham U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. announced.
According to the indictment, Jones and Williams, who owned the Mobile-based company Global Systems International, LLC., created nine GSI invoices that falsely stated that GSI employees had performed work for a certain number of hours on the Shades Mountain Filter Plant project as an Arcadis subcontractor.
Jones sent emails to Arcadis employees to facilitate processing and payment of the fake invoices. Jones then submitted the invoices to the water works board that included a 10 percent premium that Arcadis was to be paid by the BWWB on top of the amount charged by its subcontractors.
According to the indictment, BWWB paid Arcadis a total of $255,300.10. Of that amount, GSI received $232,091.
“These defendants demonstrated a callous disregard for the citizens of Birmingham by stealing money meant to improve the Birmingham Water Works Board’s operations,” Town said. “Their breach of the special trust given to them makes their thievery even more intolerable. We appreciate the investigative work of the FBI and our partnership with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office in this investigation.”
The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.