LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — A fourth defendant in the Lynn Haven corruption scheme has plead guilty, according to federal prosecutors.
Joshua Daniel Anderson, owner of GreenLeaf Lawn Care of Bay County at the time of the fraud, entered a guilty plea to a single charge of wire fraud.
Prosecutors said Anderson admitted to fraudulently billing Lynn Haven for more than $16,600 for lawn care services he claimed his company performed under a lawn care contract with the city, when in fact, all his employees were actually working on hurricane debris removal for another conspirator, Erosion Control Specialists (ECS) owner David Mitchell White.
As a result of his guilty plea, Anderson faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special monetary assessment to be paid prior to sentencing. He also agreed to pay full restitution to his victims and to forfeit all property derived from the proceeds of the fraud or used to facilitate it.
“The flagrant violation of the public trust revealed in this indictment shows the depths to which some individuals will stoop in order to profit from the suffering of others. This office will not sit back and allow that to happen,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe. “Public officials and private business owners conspired to steal money that was supposed to benefit the entire community, and now they will face the consequences of their greed-driven misdeeds.”
ECS billed the City for the GreenLeaf employees’ debris removal work and ECS was paid by Lynn Haven. From these monies, ECS then paid the defendant for his work and that of his employees for this same time period. The funds were electronically paid, giving rise to the wire fraud count against Anderson.
Former City Manager Mike White, 46, Erosion Control Specialist Owner David White, 39, and ECS Employee Shannon Rodriguez, 37, now face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count. As part of their guilty plea, the three agreed with the government that they had conspired to steal more than $1 million from city coffers and federal taxpayers during the clean up after Hurricane Michael.