A federal judge on Monday scheduled a Dec. 18 trial for a contractor accused of paying bribes and kickbacks to a former St. Joseph Hospital executive.
The trial of contractor Rocky Williams is expected to take three days in Lexington, Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj Gupta told U.S. District Court Judge Danny Reeves.
James Newton, former executive director of facilities for the hospital, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Newton will not be sentenced until after Williams’ trial.
Williams had been scheduled to go on trial Oct. 10, but he had surgery in Little Rock, Ark., last month. He was not in court Monday but listened by telephone.
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From April 2009 through at least October 2012, Newton and Williams conspired to enrich themselves by arranging for Williams to receive general contracting work at the hospital in exchange for Newton “receiving a share of the profits through unauthorized bribes and kickbacks that were not disclosed” to the hospital or its parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver, the indictment and plea agreement said.
It’s not clear which of the St. Joseph Hospital properties were involved or the value of the construction contracts.
Before the December trial, Williams and his attorney, C. William Swinford Jr., must go through 29,000 pages of evidence submitted by the government.
About 15,000 pages are bank statements and records to show that there was a “quid pro quo” relationship between Williams and Newton, Gupta told the judge in court
“This was a business relationship,” Gupta said.
Williams submitted invoices to the hospital for general contracting work that were passed on to Catholic Health Initiatives for payment processing, the indictment said.
As part of the conspiracy, Newton and his family made personal purchases with credit cards, and Williams made the payments on those transactions. Information about those transactions was transmitted to relevant financial institutions, the indictment said.
Williams also gave monetary payments to Newton and his family, and bought for Newton “a motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle, fuel, rent, vacations, golf club memberships, a pool table, and furniture and home furnishings,” the indictment said.
Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.