Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former employee of J.E. Dunn Construction Company pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving illegal kickbacks as part of an $840,000 fraud scheme.
John L. Kirwin, 46, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.
Co-defendant Debi K. Jordan, 53, of Tulsa, Okla., pleaded guilty on Aug. 31, 2017, to one count of mail fraud.
Kirwin was employed by J.E. Dunn Construction Company as an internal recruiter from August 2013 through April 13, 2016. His duties included finding qualified candidates for job vacancies. Kirwin worked with outside employment recruitment agencies to locate and employ J.E. Dunn personnel for construction projects across the country. If the recruit was actually hired, J.E. Dunn paid a fee to the outside employment recruitment agencies.
Kirwin hired three firms, including two firms owned by Jordan – Recruitegist and Sourcegist – to locate suitable employees for J.E. Dunn. Kirwin was salaried and did not receive commission for recruiting new employees; his employment contract prohibited him from receiving any benefits from outside vendors.
Beginning shortly after his employment in 2013, Kirwin operated a scheme in which he submitted fraudulent invoices to J.E. Dunn from different recruitment companies run by co-conspirators. The invoices included highly inflated amounts or they referenced employees never hired by J.E. Dunn. When J.E. Dunn paid the recruitment companies, they divided the proceeds from the fraudulent invoices with Kirwin.
The government believes the loss amount to J.E. Dunn was approximately $840,000.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Kirwin must forfeit to the government any proceeds he received from the fraud scheme. The government believes a money judgment of at least $414,001 is supported by the evidence. Kirwin also must pay restitution to J.E. Dunn in an amount to be determined, representing the total amount of the fraud.
Under the terms of her plea agreement, Jordan must pay $348,450 in restitution to J.E. Dunn, for which she is jointly and severally liable, and must forfeit to the government $158,733, which is the amount of excess payments she received.
Under federal statutes, Kirwin is subject to a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison without parole. Jordan is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General.