SAVANNAH, GA: On February 28, 2018, Anthony Florence, a contractor for the Chatham Area Transit Authority (“CAT”), was convicted by a federal jury on twenty-two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of bribery of a program receiving federal funds. United States District Court Judge William T. Moore presided over Florence’s three-day jury trial.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Florence paid bribes and kickbacks to Chadwick L. Reese, formerly the Executive Director of CAT, and Joel T. Morris, formerly the Director of Maintenance of CAT. Florence paid for over $100,000 worth of work on the personal residences of Reese and Morris. In exchange, Reese awarded contracts to a company operated by Florence over a period of nearly two years. Even though Florence and his company provided little to no work, Reese and Morris approved over $200,000 in payments by Chatham Area Transit to Florence’s company.
Reese and Morris previously pled guilty and were sentenced to 84 months and 20 months, respectively.
United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated, “The lesson for contractors doing business in South Georgia is simple: paying a public official to obtain ‘no show’ work is a good way to end up in federal prison. This office will aggressively root out corruption at every level of government.”
“Just because public officials are willing to violate the trust of the people they serve, doesn’t mean contractors can take advantage of their lack of integrity,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI will continue to make public corruption cases, and all of those involved, a priority. We ask anyone with information regarding such matters to contact their nearest FBI field office or resident agency.”
U.S. Attorney Christine commended the hard work and dedication of the FBI, which investigated the case. Special Agent Joshua Hayes led the FBI’s investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys R. Brian Tanner and J. Thomas Clarkson prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For any questions, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.