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2 businessmen charged with Katrina kickback scheme

2 years ago January 24, 2013 Jan 24, 2013 Thursday, January 24 2013 Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:51:15 PM EST in News
Source: Associated Press

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.

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