SIOUX CITY | A former employee of a Sergeant Bluff contractor has been fined more than $34,000 for filing fraudulent invoices totaling more than $807,000 to the Iowa Department of Transportation for materials used in a highway project.
Jenna Wilson, 31, of Sergeant Bluff, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Sioux City in August to one count of making false statements in connection with a highway project.
Chief U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand on Friday approved a plea agreement in which prosecutors and Wilson agreed that she would be given credit for time served in custody while being booked on the charge and not serve any additional time in jail. Strand placed Wilson on two years supervised release with the U.S. Probation Office.
Wilson was fined $34,432, the amount that K&L Landscape and Construction benefited from her activity. She was required to pay the fine Friday.
According to court documents, while working at K&L, Wilson during a six-month period in 2016 altered and falsified invoices to the general contractor and the IDOT for stockpiled expanded polystyrene by $807,637 for the 2016 reconstruction of the Interstate 29 interchange at Salix.
Court documents said Wilson falsified the price on more than 51,000 units of the foam fill material, a lightweight foam used instead of dirt to reduce or eliminate settlement under a roadway.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Wilson's actions accelerated payments to K&L, essentially amounting to a no-interest loan and saving the company $34,432 in interest costs. The false invoices did not lead to an $807,000 loss to the IDOT because the falsified invoices did not affect the price that K&L was paid for the materials.
The IDOT in October disqualified K&L from bidding or subcontracting on projects for three years.