Feds go after income taxes in Skiatook school bribery case
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Monday, October 15, 2012
10/15/12 at 6:56 PM
Two men who were convicted of state charges in a Skiatook Public Schools bribery scandal were charged with conspiracy in federal court Monday in connection with the filing of false federal income tax returns and accepting and soliciting bribes.
Prosecutors allege that from May 2004 to July 2010, former Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson, 57, and ex-Oklahoma City businessman Rick Enos, 60, conspired to “defraud the United States and to corruptly solicit, accept, give and offer things of value,” according to information filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
The two face an Oct. 25 arraignment on the charge, which upon conviction carries a punishment of up to five years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said.
“The federal government has the additional interest that individuals prepare and file federal income tax returns that are truthful,” Shores said in a telephone interview. “In this case, the government alleges that they knowingly prepared it and excluded the bribes and the cash kickbacks.”
A former vendor of custodial supplies and security equipment to the school district, Enos pleaded guilty in May to offering bribes totaling $10,000 to Johnson while he was the district’s superintendent. Enos was sentenced to 10 years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution of $420,606.
Johnson pleaded guilty to four counts of accepting cash bribes and in June was sentenced to 15 years’ probation. He was ordered to pay $236,591 in restitution.
A state audit found that the school district paid Enos — through his former companies — $570,000 more than it would have paid for custodial supplies and security equipment had it bought them directly. Tulsa County grand jury indictments unsealed in 2010 accused Johnson, who later resigned, of embezzlement and bribery in connection with that audit.
Johnson’s attorney, Rob Nigh, said Monday that just as his client did with the state case, Johnson “will make every effort to do the right thing in connection with these federal charges.”
Enos couldn’t immediately be reach for comment.
According to the federal count, Enos also owned and operated E&E Tax Services, through which he prepared and submitted Johnson’s individual federal income tax returns for certain years. In March 2009, Enos prepared Johnson’s 2008 federal income tax return knowing that the cash kickbacks paid to Johnson weren’t included as income on the return, the charges allege.
Johnson accepted and Enos gave things of value, including cash, tickets to college football games, and the costs of travel, food, entertainment and lodging, documents show.
Read more in Tuesday's Tulsa World and on tulsaworld.com.
Former Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson walks into a hearing at the Tulsa County Courthouse in June 2011. Johnson pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and was sentenced to probation in that state case. He was charged with federal crimes Monday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Oklahoma City businessman Rick Enos walks through the Tulsa County Courthouse on his way to a hearing in July 2011. Enos pleaded guilty to bribing a school official in that state case. He was charged with federal crimes Monday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World