A former Warsaw city department head and two senior employees of ProForm Pipe Lining were arrested this morning on charges related to allegedly overbilling the city over $250,000.
According to a press release from Mayor Joe Thallemer’s office, “An aggressive investigation led by the Warsaw Police Department has uncovered  enough evidence to bring formal charges  against former Warsaw Public Works Superintendent Lacy Francis Jr. and two employees of ProForm Pipe Lining Inc., Mark V. Campbell and Kevin R. Brown.”
ProForm, a longtime contractor for the City of Warsaw, is in Mishawaka.
A news release from WPD states that today at 9:15 a.m., multiple agencies simultaneously executed four search warrants and three arrest warrants in multiple jurisdictions following three months of investigation into billing irregularities between the City of Warsaw Public Works Dept. and ProForm. Warsaw police served the warrants along with the Kosciusko County Major Crimes Unit, Indiana State Police, Mishawaka Police Dept., St. Joseph County Police Dept. and the FBI, in coordination with the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. District Attorney’s Office,
Also assisting with the investigation is the Indiana State Board of Accounts, who was immediately notified when the irregularities were discovered, the mayor’s press release states.
The mayor’s release also states the issue was “authorization and payment for work never done.”
The newly created City Stormwater Utility had been in the process of inventorying aging stormwater lines to determine  the quantity of pipe that had previously been lined or repaired. The city received  information Dec. 23 alleging overbilling by ProForm. Thallemer launched an investigation Dec. 24.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed Monday in Kosciusko Circuit Court, on Dec. 23 “the City of Warsaw clerk’s office received a call from a subject who wished to remain anonymous and alerted the City of Warsaw of illegal financial scheming by a contractor for the City of Warsaw named ProForm Pipe Lining Co. This information was forwarded to the (WPD).”
The subject alleged that ProForm had been intentionally overbilling the City of Warsaw for the last several years. The overbilling included charging the city for the installation of more feet of pipe lining than what had actually been installed. The information was corroborated by a second employee.
ProForm had been retained by Francis on all of the pipe lining for the stormwater pipe renovation projects for the purpose of identifying the need and length of pipe lining required for each project. Both tipsters said that during their employment with ProForm they were instructed through Brown to add 100 feet to every Warsaw project.
Upon receiving project specifications from ProForm, Warsaw, through Francis, would then solicit bids from prospective contractors, according to the affidavit. ProForm was awarded several contracts as the lowest bidder.
Subsequent investigation revealed 11 billing discrepancies amounting to more than $260,000. The claims for each project were approved and submitted to the Warsaw clerk-treasurer's office for payment by Francis, the mayor’s press release states.
The first of the contracts in question was for a May 19, 2011, Board of Works-approved pipe lining project. The most recent discrepancy was noted as being a May 17, 2013, Board of Works-approved project, according to the affidavit. In total, ProForm overcharged Warsaw $267, 571.
Also, the affidavit states, it was discovered on Jan. 20, 2012, that Francis submitted a claim to the city’s Board of Works who issued a payment to ProForm on a Central Park project for $21,612.50, which was never done.
Evidence gathered during the investigation resulted in charges against the  three individuals, believed to be involved in what appears to be allegations of conspiracy to defraud, dating back to 2010. The county prosecutor issued the affidavit in support of the charges.
Search warrants to further the investigation into the individuals involved and the whereabouts of the funds received were executed today at: 1305 Country Club Drive, Warsaw; 2490 Cedar Road, Mishawaka; 2010 N. Byrkit St., Mishawaka; and 226 S. Elder St., Mishawaka.
The pending charges include corruption, theft, providing false information to a government entity, misconduct and conflict of interest. Law enforcement continues to gather further evidence, the mayor’s press release states.
Arrest warrants were served on the following individuals, the WPD release states, with the subsequent charges pending for their participation in racketeering activity:
• Lacy Francis Jr., 59, Warsaw; Count I, corrupt business influence, Class C felony; Count II, aiding, inducing or causing theft, Class C felony; Count III, theft, Class D felony; Count IV, theft, Class D felony; Count V, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count VI, official misconduct, Class D felony; Count VII, official misconduct, Class D felony; Count VIII, conflict of interest, Class D felony.
• Marc V. Campbell, 53, ProForm owner and president, Mishawaka; Count I, corrupt business influence, Class C felony; Count II, Theft, Class C felony; Count III, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count IV, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count V, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count VI, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony.
• Kevin Brown, 45, ProForm field supervisor, Mishawaka; Count I, corrupt business influence, Class C felony; Count II, aiding, inducing or causing theft, Class C felony; Count III, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count IV, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count V, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony; Count VI, providing false information to governmental entity to obtain contract, Class D felony.
Records were subpoenaed from ProForm’s account at 1st Source Bank, from Campbell’s account at Community Wide Federal Credit Union, from Francis’s and his wife’s accounts at Teachers Credit Union and from cell phone records. Those records indicate, among other things, that Francis and his wife went to Gulfport, Fla., Nov. 8 and returned Nov. 17, according to the affidavit. Subpoenaed records from Regions Bank, Gulfport, revealed that on Nov. 12 a payment of $16,000 in cash was applied toward the principal on a mortgage for a condominium that Francis owns in Gulfport. A review of Francis’s account discovered the cash was not derived from his accounts.
Also discovered was that Francis and his wife purchased a 2014 Chevy Equinox from Lakeside Chevrolet, Warsaw, using a down payment of $7,400 in cash.
Francis was a 22-year employee for the  City of Warsaw, serving as street superintendent for the last 12 years. He resigned   Jan. 27. ProForm Pipe Lining has done work for the city dating back to the 1990s.
Each of the three men charge is being held on $25,000 surety bond and the investigation is ongoing.
“At the root of the pending charges is the blatant abuse of the public’s trust. It is unacceptable,” Thallemer is quoted as saying in his press release. “On behalf of our taxpayers, we will pursue full prosecution of all charges against everyone involved, and, if convicted, push for maximum penalties and full restitution.”