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Former Nixa employee sentenced on mail fraud, money laundering charges

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A former Nixa street department utility worker was sentenced to two years and eight months in federal prison for mail fraud and money laundering, according to a July 26 news release by Beth Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Willard man David Griggs, 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Dorr for schemes totaling more than $756,000. Griggs was not given an option for parole.

Griggs was employed by Nixa from Nov. 6, 2003, to Feb. 8, 2006, and pleaded guilty Aug. 27, 2009, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, theft from an organization receiving federal funds and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the release said.

In addition to jail time, the court ordered Griggs to pay $272,718 in restitution and to forfeit to the government $756,010 in cash and a 1999 Dutchman travel trailer, both of which were attained through illegal means, the release said.

Co-defendant Larry Covington, 50, of Ash Grove, pleaded guilty June 1 to his role in the conspiracy to defraud Nixa, according to the release. Covington also was with the street department.

Two fictitious businesses - Airborne Specialist and Tri-State Supply - were set up by Griggs and used by both defendants to invoice the city of Nixa for approximately $273,645 in goods and services for the street department that were never provided, the release said.

Griggs set up separate post office boxes for the two businesses. When the city of Nixa mailed checks payable to the businesses, Griggs and Covington split the checks and deposited them into business bank accounts, the release said.

Covington admitted to setting up a third fictitious business - Ward & Spooner - that was used to invoice Nixa for goods and services never provided totalling approximately $482,365, according to the release.

The Covington case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver.[[In-content Ad]]

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