January 9, 2019
Michigan Airport Contractor Charged in Bribery Scheme
On January 9, 2019, a superseding indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Detroit, Michigan, charged James Warner and co-conspirator Douglas Earles, owner North Star Water Management and North Star Plumbing, Farmington, Michigan, with conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering.
The indictment alleges that from May 2007 through January 2018, North Star Water Management and North Star Plumbing entered into maintenance repair contracts with the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA), a recipient of Federal assistance. Warner, a former department manager in utilities and infrastructure at WCAA, would provide confidential and proprietary information to Earles to help him secure plumbing contracts at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport. Warner drafted, fraudulently submitted, and deceptively approved the invoices he created so he and Earles could defraud the WCAA. Earles paid kickbacks to Warner using the WCAA contract payments. From June 2010 through April 2015, Earles’ companies received over $370,000 from WCAA, and Earles gave over $113,000 of that amount to Warner.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty