Landscaping company, owner in Ohio charged with fraud

Downtown Cincinnati is seen on the other side of the river. (AP Photo/The Kentucky Enquirer, Ernest Coleman)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged an Ohio landscaping company, its owner and another company official with allegedly defrauding the city of Cincinnati and other public entities through fraudulent small business and minority contracts.

Federal authorities announced the charges Friday against Evans Landscaping Inc., owner Doug Evans and vice president of operations Jim Bailey. The company and men are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. The men are also charged with misprision of a felony — not reporting a known felony to authorities.

Prosecutors allege the defendants set up a fake company in 2008 to win minority and small business contracts with Cincinnati. Authorities say that company received demolition contracts worth nearly $2 million.

Attorneys for the defendants didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

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