Businessman accused of Baker charter school subcontractor scheme
BATON ROUGE - A local businessman was indicted by a federal grand jury for fraud and money laundering involving the construction of a Baker charter school.
50-year-old Nathan Hossley’s charges included five counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
The Department of Justice reports Hossley engaged in a scheme to defraud Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Bouma Construction from March 2014 through December 2014. The indictment says Bouma, a full-service construction company, hired a company owned by the defendant, First Millennium Construction, to serve as a subcontractor in the construction of the Impact Charter School in Baker, Louisiana.
After his company was hired, investigators say Hossley submitted or caused multiple applications for disbursements of payments by Bouma to his construction company. The applications for payments reportedly made false representations related to the amount of work that had been completed by FMC and the amount of money that his company had been paid and was still owed to certain subcontractors. Names of numerous subcontractors to which Hossley’s company owed money were also omitted, according to reports.
Hossley is also accused of allegedly forging and causing forged signatures by certain FMC subcontractors on joint check agreements and lien wavers, by which he obtained $96,125 in joint checks from Bouma. The indictment says the businessman forged or caused the forging of subcontractors’ signatures on these checks, which went on to be deposited in FMC’s bank account. This money was supposed to be split among four subcontractors. He’s also accused of arranging for another individual to submit a false affidavit claiming responsibility for the forged signatures, according to the District Attorney for the 19th Judicial District.
According to the indictment, Bouma would pay over $948,000 to Hossley’s company, less than half of which would be paid to the subcontractors to which FMC owed money to for work completed on the Impact Charter School project. During that time, Hossley allegedly diverted tens of thousands of dollars from FMC’s bank account to his accounts for personal use.