Dallas Man Guilty in Connection with Denton County Highway Expansion Fraud
Sherman, Texas
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Timeline: What we know about Jayden Lopez
ߦ   Funerals Today for Kansas deputies killed in line of duty
ߦ   Mother Of 'Little Jacob' Identified, Arrested
ߦ   Bureau of Justice Assistances Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
ߦ   Burned body identified as missing Texas college student
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Daily Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Closing arguments could begin today in murder trial of Terry Thompson
ߦ   Coast Guard suspends search for man overboard 100
ߦ   DA fires prosecutor who provided information to FBI
ߦ   DEA wins national award for its website targeting college drug abuse
ߦ   Deputy fatally shoots person at campsite in Oregon forest
ߦ   Drunk Driving Victims Caution Others Against Drinking and Driving
ߦ   Employee Subdues Donut Shop Robbery
ߦ   Feds unexpectedly drop charges against 17 immigrants
ߦ   Help Us Identify This Robbery Suspect
ߦ   La Marque cop won't face charges in fatal shooting of man who allegedly attacked him with sword
ߦ   Man Jailed In San Leon Drug Raid
ߦ   Navajo commission aims to raise awareness of hate crimes
ߦ   NYU Professor Releases Personal Info On Almost 1,600 ICE Agents
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Activity/Arrest Summary
ߦ   Police Chief's Weekly Blotter
ߦ   Police: 9 unrelated threats before Santa Fe school shooting
ߦ   Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive, Gang Member from Nacogdoches
ߦ   Sketch artist’s work has helped solve 1,200-plus cases
ߦ   Two Sentenced For Providing Support to ISIS
ߦ   Hero Down: Correctional Officer Tawanna Marin Killed During Roadside Cleanup
ߦ   Investigation into Male Found Deceased at 808 North York Street
ߦ   Trooper Declared A National Hero After Stop Of Slow Left Lane Driver Goes Viral
ߦ   10-year BCSO veteran arrested, charged with felony sexual assault of a child
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Weekend Arrests Summary
ߦ   DPS Offers Increased Reward, Seeks Leads in 1994 Murder of then 17-Year-Old in Frio County
ߦ   Elizabeth Smart kidnapper skips parole hearing in Utah
ߦ   Family Sues Officer Who Shot Plain-Clothes Detective During Headquarters Ambush
ߦ   Galveston County Sheriff's Office - Daily Bulletin
ߦ   Hero Down: CBP Collections Operations Manager Christopher Bacon Killed In Crash

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    DAVILYN WALSTON

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017      PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

                                                  

Dallas Man Guilty in Connection with Denton County Highway Expansion Fraud

 

            SHERMAN, Texas – A 34-year-old Dallas man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with a Denton County highway expansion project in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

 

            Wade Wylie Blackburn, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak.  

 

               According to information presented in court, from 2008 to 2011, Blackburn conspired with Kevin James Bollman to defraud the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDOT.)  Blackburn and Bollman raised investment money and purchased Right-of-Way (ROW) along Interstate Highway 35 East in Denton County with the intent of quickly re-selling the ROW land tracts to TXDOT. 

 

            TXDOT acquired ROW through one of three methods:  (1) Condemnation (normal acquisition); (2) Early Acquisition (EAQ); and (3) Advanced Acquisition (AAQ) through option contracts.  The first two methods required environmental clearances before TXDOT was permitted to acquire the ROW and pay the landowner.  The timing on these acquisitions, including the timing of the environmental clearance issued by the federal government, is unpredictable and often takes years to accomplish.  The third method – the AAQ method through option contracts – permitted TXDOT to execute an option contract before environmental clearances were obtained, then pay the landowners a significant up-front option fee designed to keep the landowner from transferring or developing the property on the ROW that would later result in TXDOT likely having to pay more for the ROW.  The landowner agreed not to develop the property in exchange for the up-front option fee, then closed on the sale and received the remainder of the purchase money after the environmental clearances were obtained. 

 

As part of the scheme, Blackburn and Bollman intentionally caused false material information to be submitted to the TXDOT appraiser regarding, among other things, their development plans for the various properties.  Blackburn and Bollman made these representations to the TXDOT appraiser even though they knew they had no intent to develop any of the properties.  Blackburn also wrote a letter with material false statements to individuals at TXDOT.  It claimed they were being forced to forego imminent development plans for the tracts, had been unable to successfully secure building permits, and were experiencing financial hardships as a result.  Blackburn and Bollman also made false material oral misrepresentations to officials of TXDOT when they told them that they were experiencing financial hardships as a result of not being able to proceed with immediate development of the tracts, and that TXDOT should use the AAQ method to immediately purchase the tracts.  Blackburn and Bollman made the material misrepresentations to TXDOT so they could ultimately benefit from the up-front option fee rather than wait for TXDOT acquisition by their usual course of condemnation.  TXDOT used option contracts to purchase the tracts for higher prices than what Blackburn and Bollman paid for the tracts. Blackburn was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2016.

 

“Government programs are designed to benefit the citizens, in this case, to build critical infrastructure to be used by all,” said Acting U.S Attorney Featherston.  “Taxpayers must trust that state and federal funds for building roads and highways are being used and expended in a judicious manner, and not lost to greed and manipulation.  Blackburn and others used a complex scheme to defraud the taxpayers, and in doing so, corrupt the process designed to build roads for our citizens.”

 

            Under federal statutes, Blackburn faces up to five years in federal prison.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

 

            This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher A. Eason and J. Andrew Williams.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  
© 1999-2018 The Police News. All rights reserved.