NEW BERN, NC—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced four defendants in connection with a Wayne County bribery investigation. United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, “This was a case about public school officials who accepted hard cash in exchange for awarding more than $2 million in school roofing contracts over seven years. This corruption cheated not only the school system and the children who rely upon it, but every small business owner who played by the rules and put in honest bids. Those who abuse our system of open and honest competition will be held to account for their actions, and this case is a reminder of how serious the consequences can be.”
“IRS-Criminal Investigation has increased its investigation of individuals who structure financial transactions to hide their income and ultimately evade taxes,” stated Supervisory Special Agent Jeannine A. Hammett, IRS-CI. “We have Special Agents throughout the country who work tirelessly to ensure fraudsters will not profit from their criminal activity.”
Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders added, “Unfortunately, it is ultimately the children of the Wayne County Public School System who suffer from these crimes. I wish to recognize the hard work of all the law enforcement who were involved with the investigation and prosecution of this case.”
PAMELA CAROL TURNER, 46, of Selma, was sentenced to a term of 20 months in prison followed by a two-year term of supervised release. DAVID LEE TEDDER, SR., 51, of Kenly, was sentenced to a term of 24 months in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. EARL WAYNE RHODES, 58, of Pikeville, was sentenced to a term of 36 months in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. DANNY LEE LANGLEY, 54, of Snow Hill, was sentenced to a term of 84 months in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Defendants TEDDER, RHODES, and LANGLEY were also ordered to make restitution to Wayne County Public Schools in the amount of $124,074.38.
TURNER and TEDDER, formerly husband and wife, operated All American Roofing and Construction, a roofing business located in Selma. Between 2002 and 2009, All American placed numerous bids for roofing contracts with LANGLEY and RHODES at Wayne County Public Schools. TEDDER offered kickbacks to LANGLEY and RHODES to secure numerous contracts over seven years. During the 2002 to 2003 school year, Wayne County Public Schools only paid $2,400 or three percent of its roofing funds to All American. By the time of the 2004 to 2005 school year, the percentage of roofing funds paid to All American had increased to 61 percent. By the 2007 to 2008 school year, the percentage paid to All American had increased to 95 percent of roofing funds, amounting to more than $500,000. Between 2002 and 2009, the total contracts steered to All American by LANGLEY and RHODES exceeded $2 million. In 2009, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office received a tip regarding bid rigging by All American and Wayne County Public Schools. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation became involved following a search of All American’s offices in June of 2009.
On September 14, 2010, following a grand jury investigation, TURNER pleaded guilty to structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements and aiding and abetting. As a part of the charge, TURNER acknowledged her role in systematically breaking apart cash withdrawals from her businesses accounts in a manner which caused the withdrawals to fall under $10,000. On June 14, 2011, TEDDER pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. On December 13, 2011, RHODES pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, and LANGLEY pleaded guilty to bribery and aiding and abetting.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represented the United States.