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Muncie contractor indicted for conspiring with city on contracts

Jail Handcuffs
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 11:19:00-04

MUNCIE, Ind.— A federal grand jury has indicted a Muncie contractor on criminal charges for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and false statement.

Rodney Barber is the latest to be indicted in the scandal involving the City of Muncie and Muncie Sanitary District.

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Barber was the owner of Barber Contracting, a demolition and construction company in Muncie.

Between 2015 to 2018, the Muncie Sanitary District Barber Contracting demolition and tree removal work which sot the city $286,389, according to the indictment.

Barber and Muncie employees devised a scheme to defraud the Muncie Sanitary District by conspiring to fraudulently steer contracts to preferred contractors, including Barber Contracting, read the indictment.

Barber is also accused of falsifying documents to conceal the scheme from federal investigators and paying kickbacks to Muncie’s former superintendent of sewer maintenance and engineering.

The U.S. Attorney’s office questioned $95,635 in deposits into Barber Contracting’s accounts from the City of Muncie.

The indictment alleges Barber lied to federal investigators from the FBI and IRS on March 28, 2018 when about the matter.

RTV6 left a message for Barber’s attorney Monday morning.

Former Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols is serving two years in federal prison for money laundering and wire fraud.

PREVIOUS | Ex-Muncie building commissioner to serve 2 years in prison

Federal agents arrested Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols in 2017 after the FBI searched his home and office at Muncie City Hall.

MORE | FBI removes documents during search of Muncie building commissioner's office

Nichols abused his position of trust by using sham bidding practices and submitting fraudulent invoices to steer work to his companies, and then bill Muncie more than $376,000 for work his company either never performed or performed at inflated prices.

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler recently announced he would not seek a 3rd term.

Federal court records show a total of four people have been charged in connection with the scandal and federal investigation.

The criminal cases against Tracy Barton and Jeffrey Burke are still pending, records show.