Federal prosecutors have charged a Rochester man with defrauding the massive City School Modernization Program to the tune of more than $1.3 million.
They say Orville Dixon allowed contractors to say his Journee Construction Company was handling several different projects. That way, they appeared to meet the minority set-aside program that guarantees a certain percentage of the work to minority and women-owned businesses. That's a classic cheat called a "pass through" used to rip off public construction projects.
The complaint against Dixon says he told a witness that his business was putting another contractor's employees on his payroll for that purpose. He described it in recorded conversations as an easy way to make money "by pushing paper." Ultimately, two contracters used Dixon's business.
Dixon had a preliminary court appearance today (Fri) and was released on his own recognizance.