An official with a defunct Florida company plans to plead guilty in a case in which he is charged with helping to bilk $1.32 million from a construction company through false claims about building a recycling factory in Manchester.
David R. Bennett’s attorney, Willis G. Coffey, filed a motion Tuesday seeking a hearing for Bennett to be rearraigned. That means a hearing for Bennett to change the not-guilty plea he entered at his original arraignment.
The motion did not specify the charge to which Bennett will plead.
Bennett was a managing member of a company called Waste Not Technologies that told state and local officials in 2009 that it would build a factory in Manchester to recycle garbage into building materials and other products.
The company said the factory would hire more than 1,400 people, causing a great deal of excitement in an area where jobs are scarce.
Bennett allegedly hired Elza Construction, a Laurel County company, to excavate the factory site and got the owner of the company to pay $1.32 million up front to assure completion of the proposed $44 million job.
Waste Not Technologies did not build the factory, however, and Elza never recouped its payment, a federal grand jury charged.
Elza Construction filed for bankruptcy in May 2011, listing a $1.9 million loan to finance its work on the factory site as one of its largest liabilities.
The grand jury indicted Bennett, Daniel R. Goodwin, Sidney A. Tarrant and Izhar H. Syed on conspiracy and mail fraud charges.
The trial in the case is scheduled next month.