Corruption case spurs 6 arrests in Tulsa
BY LARRY LEVY
Published: January 23, 2009
TULSA — Two city employees and four businessmen were arrested Thursday after being indicted on public corruption charges including fraud, bribery, conspiracy and money laundering that involved nearly $4.5 million.
City employees arrested were Larry Wayne Baker, 52, and Albert S. Martinez, 47, a field engineering manager. Baker left his city job in 2007, and Martinez resigned Wednesday, a city spokesman said.
Also arrested were: Harlan Eugene Yocham, 49, of Sapulpa, owner of Yocham Enterprises; Max Elliot Wolf, 56, of Owasso, president of Horizon Construction Co.;
Kenneth Kirk Shoemaker, 46, of Bartlesville, president of FBS Inc. and officer of FBS Engineers, Inc., both Tulsa firms; and Stuart Jay Franklin, 48, of Claremore, an FBS accountant.
They made an initial court appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Frank H. McCarthy and were released on their own recognizance. If convicted, they could face punishments of up to five years in prison in bribery, 10 years in conspiracy and 20 years in money laundering and wire fraud, plus fines up to $250,000.
A federal grand jury returned four indictments Jan 15. They were unsealed Thursday before the arrests were announced by U.S. Attorney David E. O'Meilia, James E. Finch, special agent-in-charge of the FBI in Oklahoma, and Michael P. Lahey, who heads the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation division in Dallas.
O'Meilia alleged that between mid-2005 and the present, the men participated in a scheme that involved awarding contracts for engineering and inspections and inflated invoices for street, bridge and other public works projects in Tulsa. Kickbacks were involved, the indictments allege.
Jan 22, 2009 08:37 AM
NewsOn6.comTULSA, OK --
The U.S. Attorney's office in Tulsa has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon for what it calls "an announcement regarding a significant public corruption matter."David E. O'Meilia, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, James Finch, Special Agent-in-Charge, of the FBI office in Oklahoma City and Michael Lahey, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS's Dallas office will be at the news conference.
The news conference will be held at the U.S. Attorney's office at 7th and Boulder at 2:30 p.m. The News On 6 will be at that news conference and will have further details when they become available.