U.S. Attorney John M. Bales has announced that two Dallas men have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a Denton County highway expansion project in the Eastern District of Texas.
James Kevin Bollman, 48, and Wade Wylie Blackburn, 33, were named in the one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury today in Sherman, Texas.
According to the indictment, from June 2008 through July 2015, Bollman and Blackburn are alleged to have conspired to defraud the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) by purchasing property and then selling it to TXDOT at an inflated price. The fraudulent activity included the purchase of six parcels of land in Denton County, Texas all adjacent to IH-35. Bollman and Blackburn purchased the property for the purpose or selling it to TXDOT at an inflated price. To facilitate the scheme, the defendants made false representations to TXDOT which facilitated a quicker sale to TXDOT with an upfront option fee and increased the value. The scheme is alleged to have resulted in fraudulent net proceeds of $12,948,321.
Under federal statutes, Bollman and Blackburn each face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher A. Eason and J. Andrew Williams.
A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.