Evans Landscaping of Newtown, Ohio, and its owner, Doug Evans, will go on trial Nov. 13, for federal wire fraud charges, according to anon WCPO Cincinnati.
Evans, 57, who has built a significant landscaping company in Newton, faces up to 103 years in prison if convicted on all six charges.
Prosecutors allege that Evans and an IT employee, Korey Jordan, created a new company, Ergon Site Construction, in 2008 to act as a front for Evans to win minority contracts with the state and the city of Cincinnati, including 140 demolition contracts worth nearly $2 million.
Jim Bailey, who is vice president of operations at Evans Landscaping will also face trial. He and Evans face identical charges of two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of misprision of a felony. The company, Evans Landscaping, faces five charges and a potential $1.25 million in fines.
What jurors will supposedly need to determine is the true relationship between Jordan and Evans and Evans’ intent when he formed Ergon Site Construction. Evans claims he was trying to help Jordan start his own minority-owned business by giving him $85,000 in startup money, guaranteeing a line of credit and teaching him the business.
Four former Evans Landscaping employees, including Jordan, have agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony. Jordan agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Local authorities and federal agents raided the premises of Evans Landscaping's Newtown location in July 2015, and federal prosecutors will use documents they recovered and the testimony of other witnesses to try to back up what the former Evans employees say, according to the WCPO article.The month-long trial in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati is expected to receive a lot of attention based on the familiarity of the company in the community.