Now that the Antitrust Division shows signs of getting back into its procurement fraud mission, I would expect prison construction to become a focal point for proactive investigations looking to expand these conspiracies outward where the object of the conspiracy is multiple state and federal contracts over a period of time in a larger geographic area.
U.S. Attorney’s OfficeWestern District of Kentucky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
PADUCAH, Ky. – A Fulton County, Kentucky, business owner and contract supplier was sentenced today, in United States District Court, before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell for his role in a conspiracy to defraud Fulton County citizens, through kickbacks and concealment of costs associated with work performed on the 2015 Fulton County Detention Center expansion, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Michael Homra, 80, was sentenced to serve two years of probation, ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, and pay $32,500 in restitution.
Homra pled guilty on January 20, 2017, to three charges including Honest Services Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud for his role in a conspiracy that involved then Fulton County Jailer Ricky D. Parnell and others between April 2015 and August 2016.
Homra is the owner of The Leader Store located in Fulton, Kentucky. His company often sold building materials to Fulton County as part of the Detention Center expansion project. Homra allowed Parnell to use The Leader Store as a middleman company for building supplies ordered during the project and paid Parnell cash kickbacks while the project was ongoing.
The agreement between Homra and Parnell was for Parnell to inflate prices that The Leader Store charged Fulton County for purchases and then for Homra to pay Parnell 50% of the profits from these purchases. Homra would pay Parnell with cash and paid Parnell between $10,000 and $25,000.
Further, Homra knowingly and voluntarily agreed and conspired with Parnell to give Parnell cash kickbacks, both as a favor to Parnell and so that Parnell would continue to use The Leader Store as a supplier for the Fulton County Detention Center. As part of their kickback scheme, Fulton County paid The Leader Store by check in amounts of $54,364.00 and $66,530.58.
Homra was charged by grand jury indictment, with co-defendants Ricky D. Parnell, of Hickman, Kentucky; Ronald D. Armstrong, of Dresden, Tennessee; Jimmy Boyd, of South Fulton, Tennessee; and Daniel C. Larcom, of Union City, Tennessee, on November 15, 2016. Parnell, Armstrong, and Larcom have entered guilty pleas and await sentencing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute Bonner and is being investigated by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).