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Wykoff Sentenced To 55 Months In Federal Prison
Updated June 10, 2015 8:16 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Former Bloomington City Project Manager Justin Wykoff, who bilked the city out of more than $400,000, was sentenced to 55-months in prison.

Wykoff pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Bloomington officials asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to sentence Wykoff to the maximum 63-month sentence.

Wykoff, of Oolitic, was taken into custody after Tuesday afternoon's sentencing hearing and sent straight to federal prison. After his release he will serve three years on parole.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler issued a news release warning government employees who serve the public to take notice.

"Public officials are trusted to serve the people, not to serve themselves," said Minkler, who attended the hearing. "Those who choose to line their pockets using money from the public payroll can expect the full force of the federal prosecution hammer. Judge Walton Pratt's sentence sends a strong message; if you choose to abuse the public's trust as a public official, you will go to prison. There will be no probation, no half-way house, no suspended sentence, no parole. The sentence will be prison."

52-year-old Roger Hardin and his son 26-year-old Zachary Hardin, along with 44-year-old Wykoff, bilked more than $440,000 from Bloomington city coffers. According to court documents in the case, of the $807,000 the city paid to Reliable Concrete from 2011 to 2014, $300,000 was for work that never was done.

"Justin Wykoff was aware of the fact, but authorized the payments to Reliable Concrete," according to court documents in the case. Investigators say the bribes and kickbacks were paid in cash, to avoid a bank trail.

Investigators say the three tried to conceal their crimes by creating false concrete bid proposals after officials discovered money was missing and jobs had not been completed.

A few weeks before his arrest, Wykoff fabricated bid proposal forms for projects the company had been paid for but not carried out. He then signed off on the back-dated forms, indicating he had approved the bids.

Federal agents arrested all three men in March 2014 and charged them with a plot overcharging the city for concrete work and then splitting the cash among themselves. Wykoff was responsible for bidding and awarding contracts for public works projects in the city of Bloomington, like road paving and sidewalk construction. Between April 2011 to February 2014, Wykoff solicited and received cash bribes and kickbacks from Roger Hardin and Zach Hardin, who operated a company called Reliable Concrete and Construction in Bedford.

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