Evans Landscaping owner will report to prison in June, two years after conviction
More than two years after a jury convicted Evans Landscaping owner Doug Evans of minority contract fraud, a judge ruled Friday that he must report to jail on June 4th to serve his 21-month sentence .
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett has postponed Evans ‘reporting date to prison several times over Evans’ health concerns over COVID-19. However, at a trial on Friday, the judge said there would be no further delays.
“I think we all understand it will be, don’t we guys?” Barrett told attorneys during a 10-minute phone hearing.
Barrett led Evans’ month-long lawsuit that ended when a jury found him guilty in December 2018 of using a Shell company to win millions of demolition contracts.
Since then, Barrett has postponed Evans’ reporting date five times.
On Friday, Evans’ attorney Ben Dusing asked for a sixth delay to give his 58-year-old client time to get the COVID vaccine before reporting to jail. Evans was due to report on April 9th.
“We are requesting a delay so that Mr Evans can be vaccinated before he is taken into custody by the Bureau of Prisons,” said Dusing. “It’s a two-shot process that will culminate in late May.”
Barrett granted the delay to protect Evans and other inmates from COVID, while acknowledging that Evans could have got the vaccine sooner.
“Maybe that could have been done earlier,” he said.
Ohio began offering COVID-19 vaccines to people over 50 on March 11.
U.S. Assistant Attorney Tim Mangan said he had confirmed Evans’ vaccination appointments with Dusing.
“We assume that this will be the final request and that this will be a set reporting date for Mr Evans once he is vaccinated,” said Mangan.
The high-profile Newtown entrepreneur is said to be serving his sentence at the Ashland Federal Correctional Institution. This low security prison in eastern Kentucky houses 959 inmates in combination with the adjoining subcamp.
Evans insisted on innocence throughout his trial, but the jury convicted him of starting a Shell company – Ergon Site Construction – in 2008 in hopes of creating millions of minority demolition jobs from the state and city in a deepening recession Win Cincinnati.
“I think the criminal behavior at the center of this case really does deprive many people of a fair shake,” said then-US attorney Ben Glassman after the verdict. “It hurts every other company out there that tries to stick to the rules.”
Prosecutors accused Evans of founding a fake front company, Ergon, with IT worker Korey Jordan as a figurehead.
“It is worth reminding the court that the letters in the ‘Ergon’ name could be rearranged to form the word ‘Negro’,” wrote Mangan in a judgment note. “A witness testified that Doug Evans thought the use of the term for Ergon was strange … The word ‘Negro’ was handwritten on the top of a bill found on a table in Doug Evans’ office during a search. “”
Evans appealed his conviction, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dismissed that appeal on March 18.
In addition to Evans’ 21-month sentence, the judge ordered him to pay $ 50,000 and the company $ 500,000, half of which is intended as charitable payments to minority businesses.
Five former and current Evans Landscaping employees were also convicted.