Union Co. Judge/Executive indicted for 'defrauding citizens' - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Union Co. Judge/Executive indicted for 'defrauding citizens'

Jody Jenkins (WFIE) Jody Jenkins (WFIE)

Union County Judge/Executive Jody Jenkins has been indicted by a grand jury.

He's accused of scheming to defraud the citizens of Union County of their right to honest services.

Officials with the Department of Justice say Jenkins is charged with secretly using his official position to gain gifts and money. 

They say between March and July of 2014, Jenkins accepted cash payments of approximately $20,000 from a man who was only named by his initials in the indictment. 

In return, they say Jenkins bought heavy equipment for the county from the man, "J.H." 

They were bought below market value with taxpayer money. 

Officials say Jenkins took steps to cover up the dealings with "J.H.", including the use of false invoices. 

If convicted at trial, Jenkins could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for each of the four counts he's facing, fined $1,000,000 and serve a 3 year period of supervised release.

According the Kentucky Constitution, an elected officeholder may stay in their position until they are convicted and exhausted all appeals, or until they enter a guilty plea or resign. 

Click here to read the full indictment. 

The equipment is connected to a large heavy equipment theft ring we told you about before.

In 2015, four men were indicted for crimes that happened across Indiana and Kentucky, including Vanderburgh and Union Counties. 

Andrew Elpers was charged with 32 counts of interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles and one count of money laundering.

Thomas Elpers was charged with two counts of possession of stolen motor vehicles.

Jordan Wedel was charged with one count of possession of stolen motor vehicles.

Jason Habermel was charged with four counts of money laundering.

Authorities say Habermel engaged in money laundering by arranging for the sale and delivery of stolen vehicles to the Union County Fiscal Court.

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