Charles P. Richards, Jr., of Tucker, Georgia, was arraigned Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, on conspiratorial bribery charges for paying over $185,000 to obtain City of Atlanta contracts.
“From approximately 2010 to August 2015, Richards conspired with E.R. Mitchell to buy lucrative construction-related contracts with the City of Atlanta,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “Contractors who willingly participate in a pay-to-play contracting system subvert the process for those who try to compete fairly and ultimately undermine the public’s trust in government.”
On Jan. 25, 2017 Mitchell, owner of E.R. Mitchell Company and several subsidiaries, pled guilty to paying over $1,000,000 to an yet-to-be-named individual in exchange for City of Atlanta contracts.
“The arraignment of Mr. Richards illustrates once again that providing bribes in order to obtain government contracts, be it city, state, or federal, can land you in the defendant’s chair as easily as for those accepting the bribes. The FBI continues to work diligently with its various law enforcement partners and federal prosecutors in identifying, investigating, and presenting for prosecution all individuals engaged in these types of criminal public corruption schemes that undermine the legitimate and established practices of government,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
“The citizens of Atlanta must be able to trust that government officials will perform their duties in the best interests of the communities they serve,” said Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Charles Richards Jr. undermined the process of fair and open competition when he conspired with others to pay bribes in exchange for securing lucrative contracts with the City of Atlanta. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court, Richards serves as the owner and/or principal of the construction companies C.P. Richards Construction Co., Inc., and C.P. Richards & Associates, Inc.
In an effort to obtain construction-related contracts with the City of Atlanta, according to the Justice Dept., Richards and defendant Elvin R. Mitchell, Jr. conspired to pay an individual to obtain government contracts. From approximately 2010 to August 2015, Richards paid over $185,000 to an individual in exchange for City of Atlanta contracts, believing that some of the money would be paid to city official/s who exercised influence over the contracting process.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Charles. P Richards, Jr., 64, will plead guilty on Feb. 16, 2017, before the U.S. District Court Judge Steve C. Jones.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney Kurt R. Erskine and Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis, and Jill Steinberg, are prosecuting the case.
See the initial Justice Dept. announcement in this case at: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/construction-company-owner-charged-paying-over-1-million-bribes-city-atlanta-contracts