Former Wayne County Roads Division employee accused of embezzling more than $1.7M

Employees falsified documents and sold 596 generators for personal gain, officials say

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DETROIT – A former Wayne County Roads Division employee is accused of conspiring to steal more than $1.7 million in county funds.

An indictment charges John L. Gibson, 54, of Detroit with one count of conspiring to embezzle county funds and three counts of stealing county funds.

Gibson and his supervisor, Kevin Gunn, 64, of West Bloomfield, are accused of defrauding Wayne County out of nearly $2 million in taxpayer funds.

Gunn’s home was raided by the FBI on May 3. The home is on Hidden Oaks Lane in West Bloomfield. Gunn and Gibson were both arrested that day, officials said.

Read more: West Bloomfield house raided after Wayne County roads employees sell 596 generators for personal gain

A house on Hidden Oaks Lane in West Bloomfield that was raided May 3, 2022, in connection with a Wayne County Roads Division corruption investigation. (WDIV)

Employees accused of selling 596 generators for personal gain

Gunn, Gibson, and others are accused of using taxpayer dollars to purchase generators and other power equipment from retailers in Michigan. They then would sell the items for personal profit.

The investigation into the alleged misuse of taxpayer dollars began in March of 2021. The scheme dates back to January 2019 and continued through August 2021.

Gunn and Gibson are accused of soliciting approved Wayne County vendors to purchase generators and other power equipment from local retailers on behalf of Wayne County. The vendors would submit invoices for the items to Wayne County and in order to conceal the scheme, Gunn allegedly instructed the vendors to falsify the invoices submitted to the roads division.

The falsified documents listed items the vendors were authorized to sell to the county under their contracts instead of the generators and power equipment they were unlawfully acquiring at Gunn’s and Gibson’s request.

Roads division employees would then approve and pay each invoice with taxpayer funds. After the fraudulent purchases were verified and approved, Gibson would take the equipment and pay Gunn for the items. The generators and other items were sold for personal profit, officials said.

Wayne County vendors purchased 596 generators and a variety of other power equipment including lawnmowers, chainsaws, and backpack blowers between Jan. 16, 2019, and Aug. 3, 2021.

The purchase of these items was not authorized under any vendor contract with Wayne County nor were the items ever provided to or used by Wayne County. The total value of equipment purchased as part of the scheme was approximately $1.7 million in taxpayer funds.

A West Bloomfield house was raided Tuesday after Wayne County Roads Division workers used $1.7 million in taxpayer money to fraudulently purchase 596 generators and sell them for personal profit, officials said. READ:

Gibson, Gunn face prison time, fines

Gibson and Gunn were arrested in May by the FBI, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office investigators and Wayne County sheriff’s deputies.

Conspiracy to commit federal program theft comes with a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Each count of embezzlement of county funds carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.