Albany businessmen charged with RICO crime - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany businessmen charged with RICO crime

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July 30, 2007

Albany -- Two Albany businessmen are charged with defrauding a nationwide cellular company out of nearly a half million dollars.

In a secret indictment unsealed Monday, Jimbo Adams and Christopher Weaver are charged under the Georgia Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

Prosecutors say the fraud started in 2000 and the statute of limitations had almost run out when the District Attorney's office picked up the investigation.

District Attorney investigators poured through On-Site Wireless' installation van. The grand jury's indictment was unsealed Monday morning in court and the details of Jimbo Adams and Christopher Weaver's agreement were revealed.

Prosecutors say the two struck a deal in 2000 shortly after Adams was named Vice President of Alltel.

"If you for instance wanted to have a mobile phone installed in your car and you went to Alltel and activated a phone," says D. A. Ken Hodges. "Alltel through Mr. Adams would send you to Mr. Weaver' s organization, Onsite Wireless to install."

But Weaver was also turning in fraudulent invoices for work that was never done and the two were profiting. "It was nearly a half a million dollars over the four or five years they engaged in the fraud," said Hodges. 

The money was funneled into nearly two dozen bank accounts and several properties. In exchange for the business, there were also perks.  "We know there was an arrangement between the two of them where Mr. Adams would get a kickback, if you will, for everyone he actually did install."

While this case was frequently talked about and originally investigated by the Albany Police Department, charges were never filed and eventually Adams left Alltel, but six months ago after questions District Attorney Ken Hodges office re-examined the case. "I had checked with the original agency investigating it, and it had just been sitting around so we took it over six months ago."

The case was brought before the last grand jury who decided to indict. Christopher Weaver was arrested Monday morning at On-Site Wireless.

A warrant was issued for Jimbo Adams. Alltell also filed a civil suit against both men to try to recoup some of the stolen money.

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