LAWFUEL – American Law News – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Division, announced that defendants, Richard A. Wickett, and H. Michael Dye were charged with violations resulting from a long-term scheme to violate campaign finance laws during their employment with PBS&J Corporation (“PBS&J”).
Specifically, defendant Richard A. Wickett was indicted by a Miami federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 371, substantive mail and wire fraud violations, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Sections 1341, 1343, and 1346, conspiracy to cause the filing of false statements with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371, and two substantive counts of causing the filing of false statements with the FEC in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1001. In addition, an information charges defendant H. Michael Dye with conspiracy to cause the filing of false statements with the FEC in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
According to the charging documents, from the early 1990’s through 2003, Wickett and Dye conspired to violate campaign finance laws through various means. Federal law requires accurate disclosure of contributions to candidates for federal office and their principle campaign committees. The defendants caused certain PBS&J employees to claim false expenses for mileage in order to reimburse them for donations to candidates. They created a bank account for PBSJ with checks that omitted the corporate name and address in order to conceal the use of corporate funds donated to candidates. They used corporate checks from a PBS&J subsidiary to reimburse campaign donations, and used employee bonuses as a means to fund campaign donations.
Defendant Wickett faces a statutory maximum of five years’ imprisonment for each conspiracy count; a fine, and mandatory restitution for the substantive mail and wire fraud counts, and five years’ imprisonment for the substantive false statement counts. Defendant Dye faces a statutory maximum term of five years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy charged in the information.
PBS&J is an employee-owned company based in Florida with approximately 3,900 employees in 80 offices throughout the United States. Mr. Acosta acknowledged the substantial steps the company is taking to prevent future recurrences and thanked them for their continued cooperation in this matter.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rochlin.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.