Bloomington manager admits kickbacks, parks employee charged

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A former Bloomington project manager has admitted to accepting kickbacks to help a Bedford concrete company win more than $800,000 in city contracts.

Justin Wykoff, 44, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud, the Herald-Times reported. He could get more than five years in prison when he is sentenced June 4, followed by three years on parole.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said she was taking the plea agreement under advisement until she can review a probation department's report.

The owners of Hardins' Reliable Concrete, a father-son concrete company owned by Roger Hardin and Zachary Hardin, have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and have cooperated with investigators.

Authorities said Wykoff agreed to send business the Hardins' way, and in some cases actually estimated the project costs and used his inside information to make sure the Hardins' Reliable Concrete was the low bidder. In other instances, Wykoff awarded city contracts to Reliable Concrete outright, not seeking any other bids.

According to court documents, of the $807,000 paid to Reliable Concrete, about 37 percent, $300,000, was for work that was never done.

Also Friday, in an unrelated case, a former employee of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of stealing approximately $430,000 over a period of several years from the parks department and from the Bloomington Community Parks Foundation.

The indictment charges Judith Seigle of Gosport with a single count of wire fraud. Seigle, who was the parks department office manager for 20 years, was fired last October after irregularities were detected with the foundation's checking account, which Seigle managed. A message seeking comment was left for her at her home on Friday.

An innocent plea was entered on her behalf. U.S. Attorney spokesman Tim Horty said Seigle had not yet been arrested and would self-report to her initial hearing on Tuesday.

The federal indictment says that Seigle embezzled approximately $400,000 from the foundation. In addition, she is accused of stealing approximately $30,000 from city accounts. The thefts took place between 2010 and 2014, the indictment says.

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