On Feb. 28, 2018, Anthony Florence, a contractor for the Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) was convicted by a federal jury on 22 counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery of a program receiving federal funds.
Based on evidence presented, Florence paid bribes and kickbacks to Chadwick L. Reese, formerly the executive director of CAT, and Joel T. Morris, formerly the director of maintenance of CAT. Florence paid for over $100,000 worth of work on the personal residences of Reese and Morris.
In exchange, Reese awarded contracts to a company operated by Florence over a period of nearly two years. Even though Florence and his company provided little to no work, Reese and Morris approved over $200,000 in payments by Chatham Area Transit to Florence’s company.
Reese and Morris previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 84 months and 20 months, respectively.
United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated, “The lesson for contractors doing business in South Georgia is simple: paying a public official to obtain ‘no show’ work is a good way to end up in federal prison. This office will aggressively root out corruption at every level of government.”
Christine commended the hard work and dedication of the FBI, which investigated the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys R. Brian Tanner and J. Thomas Clarkson prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.