A city official and a local businessman in Muncie have been charged in related fraud schemes. The cases, which were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, stem from alleged kickbacks and illegal purchases involving city-owned property.
The office of United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Josh Minkler says charges against Muncie Sanitary District Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance and Engineering Tracy Barton include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, falsification of documents in a federal investigation and witness tampering. Burke Rentals and McGalliard Guns & More owner Jeffrey Burke faces bank fraud, making false statements to an FBI agent and obstruction of grand jury proceedings charges.
Documents allege Barton, who has served in the position for the city for five years, abused his authority by soliciting and accepting cash or other contributions in exchange for contract favoritism. Burke is accused of benefiting from such an arrangement in an illegal acquisition of the Muncie Flea Market property.
Charges against the two were detailed during initial federal court appearances Tuesday in Indianapolis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Preston is prosecuting the cases for the government and says, if convicted, the defendants could receive decades of prison time.
You can read more about the indictments by clicking here.