2 businessmen charged with Katrina kickback scheme
NEW ORLEANS - Two businessmen have been charged with engaging in a kickback scheme involving a Hurricane Katrina debris removal contract administered by the Army Corps of Engineers.
A one-count indictment Thursday charges 51-year-old Anthony Penn, of New Orleans, and 52-year-old Kenneth Johnson Sr., of Atlanta, with conspiring to defraud the federal government.
Federal prosecutors say an unidentified solid waste management company hired Penn to help manage a debris removal project in New Orleans after the 2005 storm.
Penn allegedly convinced the company's owner to hire Johnson's company as a subcontractor and then asked Johnson for a cut of the payments as a reward for steering him work.
Prosecutors say Johnson paid Penn more than $222,000 in kickbacks. Each faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charge.