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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

crime & courts

City Council briefed on alleged embezzler

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan briefed city council members Wednesday regarding allegations against a former city official who allegedly embezzled at least $800,000.

Justin Wykoff, 43, employed by the city in 1991, was a senior project manager until February this year. He faces federal charges in Indianapolis district court.

Federal agents arrested Wykoff Wednesday, along with Roger Hardin, 51, and his son Zachary Hardin, 25, for embezzlement and conspiracy charges.

City Council President Darryl Neher said council members have been in close communication with Kruzan concerning the embezzlement investigation from early on in the process, according to a press release.

Wykoff’s alleged co-conspirators, the Hardins, own Reliable Concrete Construction out of Bedford, Ind. The U.S. Attorney’s office claims the three conspired to commit a federal crime through false invoices created and signed by Wykoff.

Since 2011, Wykoff allegedly signed at least 24 false invoices for work RCC did not perform and then received payments from the Hardins for 33 percent of each invoice.

The Hardins received payments for various projects in Bloomington, including Rogers Street and College Avenue work on sidewalks, drainage and curbing.

Neher said the council attorney contacted the Indiana State Board of Accounts to inform them of the investigation. The council requested Kruzan propose internal controls on Bloomington finances.

The exact amount of money stolen is not known, U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said. The case continues to be under investigation.

Kruzan hired outside counsel for additional review for proposed financial control on the city, Neher said.

“We support the Mayor’s request for the State Board of Accounts to conduct an audit of the City’s Department of Public Works,” Neher said. “We acknowledge and appreciate that it was City Administration who initiated the investigations by the FBI, Bloomington Police Department and city officials.”

Dennis Barbosa

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