Charges were announced on Wednesday, November16, against retired Fulton County Kentucky Jailer Ricky Parnell and four contractors, who performed work on the $3.3 million 2015 Fulton County Detention Center expansion, for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud Fulton County citizens, through kickbacks and inflated costs associated with the project.
Ricky D. Parnell, 59, of Hickman, Kentucky; Ronald D. Armstrong, 60, of Dresden, Tennessee; Jimmy Boyd, 56, of South Fulton, Tennessee; Michael Homra, 79, of Fulton, Kentucky; and Daniel C. Larcom, 42, of Union City, Tennessee were charged by grand jury indictment on November 15, 2016 with Honest Services Fraud and multiple counts of Wire Fraud.
According to the indictment, between April 2015 and August 2016, Parnell, who served as the Fulton County Jailer from 1990 until earlier this year, used his official position to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting gifts and payments from defendants Armstrong, Boyd, Homra and Larcom, in exchange for influencing the Fulton County Fiscal Court to award the defendants contracts on the project.
Parnell allegedly directed Armstrong, Boyd, Homra and Larcom to intentionally overcharge Fulton County for services and supplies provided as part of jail projects. Parnell would then present the inflated invoices and contracts to the Fulton County treasurer for payment to the defendants and their respective companies. In turn, the defendant contractors would use the excess proceeds to pay kickbacks, in the form of both cash and checks, to Parnell. According to the indictment, Parnell received at least $175,000 in money and other things of value.
In addition, defendants Armstrong, Boyd, Homra, and Larcom allegedly took steps to cover up their activities and dealings with Parnell, including using cash to provide Parnell with kickbacks, structuring withdrawals from banks to use for these kickbacks, and creating false and inflated invoices for services and materials in order to satisfy the cash kickbacks allegedly demanded by Parnell.
If convicted at trial, the defendants could be sentenced to no more than 20 years in prison per count, pay a $250,000 fine for each count, and be sentenced to serve a three-year period of supervised release.