Evans Landscaping owner Doug Evans reports to prison on Friday

CINCINNATI – Evans Landscaping owner Doug Evans is due to serve his 21-month sentence for minority fraud on Friday.

A jury convicted Evans in December 2018 for winning millions of minority and small business demolition contracts with a mailbox company in the state and city of Cincinnati. But U.S. District Court judge Michael Barrett allowed Evans to repeatedly postpone his prison report over COVID fears.

Evans, 59, is expected to be serving his sentence at the Ashland Federal Correctional Institution. This low security prison in eastern Kentucky houses 954 inmates along with the adjoining subcamp.

“There is obviously no way to replace the contributions of our founder and president, who started this company as a teenager in the 1970s and slowly took its success out of literal dirt, grime and mud – one bone-breaking day at a time,” said Zachary Peterson . General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer of Evans Landscaping.

Evans grew from a high school job hauling mulch on a pickup truck to a landscaping empire. He became so successful that he hired his own teachers that summer.

In the process, current and former employees testified that the company employs 250 people, has annual sales of $ 35 million, and has multiple businesses.

Peterson said the well-known Newtown company would continue despite Evans’ absence.

“Evans has a great team of people, many of whom have been with the company for several decades, and is fortunate to have loyal customers who continue to support the company,” said Peterson. “At Evans it was and will continue as usual, and we assume that we will continue to grow.”

After a month-long trial, a jury convicted Evans of starting a bogus company called Ergon with IT worker Korey Jordan as a figurehead to win government jobs during the recession.

The FBI began an investigation into Evans in late 2013, interviewing 70 people and monitoring construction sites to see if Evans equipment and employees were being used by the allegedly minority-owned company.

In July 2015, agents raided Evans landscaping locations in Newtown. Almost two years later, a grand jury indicted the case.

Five former and current Evans Landscaping employees were also convicted under the program.

Following the verdict, then-US Attorney-at-Law Ben Glassman told WCPO that this case should be a warning to other business owners who might consider doing something illegal.

“That’s part of the goal of this and every law enforcement – a message of general deterrence,” Glassman said. “People who are able to cut a corner to gain an unfair advantage should think twice before embarking on the path of fraud.”

In addition to Evans’ 21-month prison term, the judge sentenced him to pay $ 50,000 and the company to pay $ 500,000, half of which will be given as charitable payments to support minority businesses.

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