CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Three former employees at Evans Landscaping pleaded guilty in federal court Monday.
The workers are accused of creating a fake minority small business to obtain public contracts. The scheme defrauded the City of Cincinnati and other public entities including universities and school districts, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Maurice Patterson, former CFO of Evans Landscaping, and Michael Moeller, former manager at Evans Landscaping, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
John Dietrich, former CFO of Evans Landscaping, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony.
Patterson and Moeller conspired with others between 2008 and 2014 to create the fake company, according court documents.
Dietrich became aware of the conspiracy and scheme to defraud and helped conceal the crime in 2013.
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution.
Misprision of a felony carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, up to one year of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution.