Landscaping company, owner in Cincy charged with fraud

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged an Ohio landscaping company, its owner and another company official with allegedly defrauding the city of Cincinnati and other public entities through fraudulent small business and minority contracts.

Federal authorities announced the charges Friday against Evans Landscaping Inc. in suburban Cincinnati, owner Doug Evans and vice president of operations Jim Bailey. They are all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. The men also are charged with misprision of a felony — not reporting a known felony to authorities.

Prosecutors allege a fake company was set up in 2008 to win minority and small business contracts and received demolition contracts with Cincinnati worth nearly $2 million from 2011 through 2014.

The defendants’ attorneys said Friday they deny all of the charges.