Muncie Official, Business Owner Indicted for Fraud

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MUNCIE -

The district administrator for the Muncie Sanitary District and a Muncie business owner have been indicted on multiple charges, including wire fraud. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler's office says Debra Nicole Grigsby and Tony Franklin were allegedly involved in a kickback scheme involving contracts for infrastructure projects.

Grigsby has served as the district administrator for the Muncie Sanitary District since 2013 and was responsible for approving the selection of contractors to perform work on certain infrastructure projects, according to a news release from Minkler's office. Franklin is the owner of Franklin Building and Design LLC.

The indictment alleges Grigsby agreed to steer contracts for infrastructure work to Franklin in exchange for kickbacks. 

"Public servants need to serve the public instead of serving themselves," Minkler said in the news release. "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."

Grigsby and Franklin face charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements and falsification of documents in a federal investigation. If convicted on all charges, each could face up to 20 years in prison.

Minkler's office says the arrests are part of an ongoing, multi-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service into the payment of kickbacks in exchange for public works projects and other corruption-related matters in Muncie. To date, the investigation has resulted in four federal cases.

"The indictment and arrest of these two individuals is one more step in an ongoing investigation to identify any and all public officials or private citizens who have committed federal crimes and victimized the tax paying citizens of Muncie, Indiana," said Grant Mendenhall, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. "Investigating public officials who exploit their official position for personal gain and erode the public’s confidence in government is one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities and is the sole purpose of the Indiana Public Corruption Task Force."

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