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Bedford Men Appear In Court To Face Embezzlement Charges
Updated March 13, 2014 7:23 AM | Filed under: Crime
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Roger Hardin.jpg
Roger Hardin
justin Wykoff.jpg
Justin Wykoff

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Justin Wykoff and Roger Hardin, accused by federal officials of bilking $800,000 from the city of Bloomington through fraudulent concrete bids and invoices, will remain in federal custody until a Monday hearing in U.S. District Court.

Hardin's 25-year-old son Zachary Hardin, who is also accused of the crime, was released after his initial hearing Wednesday afternoon before U.S. District Court Magistrate Denise LaRue.

A federal public defender arranged for Hardin's girlfriend to pick him up at a Starbucks not far from the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.

He was released on the condition that he would remove any weapons in his home and he must stay in Southern Indiana until the charges against him are resolved. He is also forbidden in discussing the case with anyone.

All three men will appear for a probable-cause hearings at 10 a.m. Monday, when federal prosecutors will present evidence to validate allegations filed Wednesday.

The Hardins hired Bloomington Attorney Joe Lozano, a former Monroe County deputy prosecutor, to represent them.

Bedford Attorney Nathan Nikirk will be representing Wykoff.

Wykoff, a former city project engineer for the city of Bloomington who oversaw bids, was fired last month. He is facing 24 counts of embezzling city funds and converting them for his own use and one count of conspiracy to commit a federal crime.

The Hardins, owners of Reliable Concrete and Construction, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a federal offense.

The three are accused of scheming to steal from the city of Bloomington and then splitting the money among themselves over the past three years. An investigation into city contracts for road work by federal officials revealed a conspiracy that bilked nearly $1 million from taxpayers. The money allegedly was diverted into the pockets of Wykoff and a father-son team.

Investigators allege Wykoff approved false invoices submitted by Reliable Concrete Co. The result was that the city paid the company for work that was never done, and also for jobs actually carried out by other companies. The investigation indicated the concrete company sent false invoices to the city and that payment for the alleged services was deposited into the Hardins' bank account.

During the hearing Wednesday afternoon, Magistrate LaRue explained the charges and federal court process, and ordered that Wykoff and Roger Hardin be held because U.S. Attorney Joe Vaugh claimed that after Wykoff was fired, he met with Hardin at Hardin's home and the two fabricated documents in an attempt to hide their crime.

Vaugh told the magistrate that both men pose a "serious risk" and might attempt to obstruct justice.



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