Muncie Building Commissioner Indicted

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Investigators took boxes of city documents from the building commissioner's office in January. (photo courtesy WTHR-TV) Investigators took boxes of city documents from the building commissioner's office in January. (photo courtesy WTHR-TV)

Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols has been indicted on numerous felony charges. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler's office says Nichols was arrested Wednesday on charges of wire fraud, theft and money laundering following a year-long investigation.

The investigation also involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. Nichols, who has served as building commissioner for the city of Muncie since 2012, is accused of using "sham bidding practices" and submitting fraudulent invoices to bring work to his companies, according to Minkler's office. He then billed the city for more than $376,000 for work performed at inflated prices or never performed at all.

"Public servants need to serve the public instead of serving themselves," said Minkler. "When someone betrays the public’s trust by stealing tax dollars for personal enrichment, my office will identify, investigate and, if the evidence supports a charge, prosecute the individual who violates that sacred trust."

If convicted of all charges, Nichols could face up to 20 years in prison. Nichols made an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis.

The indictment comes more than one month after FBI officials raided the building commissioner's office in Muncie. Our partners at WTHR-TV reported at the time investigators spent more than three hours gathering boxes full of city records and a city computer.

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