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Juli Campbell, the owner of Campbell Development who was charged with fraud and identity theft in February in relation to the VI Emergency Home Repair Program, was remanded to prison on Wednesday following a guilty plea in District Court on St. Croix.
The plea agreement was entered into by and between defendant Mrs. Campbell and Jason Gonzalez-Delgado, attorney for Mrs. Campbell, and the United States Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands, Gretchen C. F. Shappert. The agreement specifically excludes and does not bind any other territorial, state or federal agency, including other United States Attorneys and the Internal Revenue Service, from asserting any civil, criminal or administrative claim against the defendant, according to the plea document.
The outcome follows The Consortium’s relentless reporting of Campbell Development’s treatment of contract workers brought to the territory. Our stories also resulted in the raiding of Campbell Development’s office in Peter’s Rest by multiple federal law enforcement arms. The raid occurred on November 2, 2018, with the agents seemingly packing all documents and other items that could serve as evidence in a case. At the time, an agent told The Consortium that because the case was still unfolding, details relative to the matter could not be divulged. Even so, the men packed boxes of documents and other items and placed them in a truck.
Thereafter, charges were levied against Mrs. Campbell, which led to her arrest and eventual guilty plea.
In the first of multiple video reports, seen atop this story, the workers alleged a number of abuses said to be perpetrated by Mrs. Campbell, including lack of pay, bounced checks, arbitrary dismissals and abandonment.
Mrs. Campbell was said to be in tears during the proceedings on Wednesday.
According to the agreement’s terms, Mrs. Campbell will plead guilty to count six of the indictment, which charges a violation of Title 18 of United States Code, Section 1040, which carries a 30-year maximum term of imprisonment. Her guilty plea of count six means Mrs. Campbell acknowledges that the government can prove beyond reasonable doubt that she made a materially false statement; that the statement was in connection with a benefit; the benefit was in connection with a major disaster declaration; and that the benefit was a payment, money, or thing of value of the United States.
“Defendant is pleading guilty because defendant is in fact guilty of the charge contained in count six of the indictment,” reads the agreement. “In pleading guilty, defendant acknowledges that should the case go to trial, the government could present evidence to support the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The guilty plea agreement adds, “Specifically, the United States could prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt: 2018 the defendant owned Campbell Development, LLC, a company providing subcontracting work under on a contract ultimately funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Program. The STEP program funding for the contract and subcontract were authorized under a major disaster declaration issued pursuant to Title 42. United States Code, Section 5170.
“With respect to Campbell Development’s subcontract for the aforementioned work, the company submitted time sheets showing work not actually performed by Campbell Development workers and invoices showing meals and incidental expenses that were not paid to the respective workers. In particular, on or about September 17, 2018, the defendant prepared and submitted, and aided in the preparation and submission of time sheets showing work not actually performed by Campbell Development workers and an invoice showing meals and incidental expenses that were not paid to the respective workers.”
Although the document did not provide a date for sentencing, it reveals that sentencing guidelines include 2-5 years of supervised release. This, however, does not mean that Mrs. Campbell won’t face jail time. Additionally, her prison term may be further reduced, according to the District Court, “if the defendant agrees to provide substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person, as defined in Fed. R. Crim. P. 35, or otherwise agrees to cooperate with the United States Attorney.”
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