Feds Charge Florida Construction Company With Campaign Fraud

Posted March 8, 2007 at 5:35pm

Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that they were charging two executives at a Florida-based government contractor for their alleged part in a more-than-decade-long scheme that illegally reimbursed employees for federal campaign contributions paid for out of corporate coffers.

Richard Wickett and H. Michael Dye, both former chairman of construction giant PBS&J, face a maximum of five years in federal prison for mail- and wire-fraud violations. Federal prosecutors also allege that Dye violated campaign finance statutes.

According to court records, Wickett and Dye conspired to violate campaign finance laws in a variety of ways from the early 1990s through 2003. They are accused of forcing certain PBS&J employees to claim false expenses for mileage in order to reimburse them for donations to candidates. They also allegedly created a bank account for PBS&J with checks that omitted the corporate name and address in order to conceal the use of corporate funds donated to candidates.

Prosecutors did not say which political candidates received the donations from the development giant.

— Matthew Murray