A Baton Rouge man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for defrauding the company managing construction of Impact Charter School in Baker, acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said Tuesday.
Nathian Hossley, 51, who pleaded guilty last October to wire fraud and money laundering, was accused of stealing more than $800,000 from Bouma Construction, Amundson said in a news release.
In 2014, Hossley submitted a bid to Bouma for his Baton Rouge company, First Millennium Construction, to work as a subcontractor for the Impact Charter School project, Amundson said. The companies later entered into a $1.2 million contract based on that bid.
First Millennium was responsible for the site work, including grading, utility installation, paving and concrete work, according to the indictment. The contract also allowed First Millennium to hire its own subcontractors for the job.
Construction on the school started in June 2014. The school opened that August, though construction was still underway, serving students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.
Over the course of the project spanning several months, Hossley submitted false payment applications to Bouma that misrepresented the work completed and the amount of money First Millennium owed to several of its subcontractors, according to the indictment.
Hossley falsely told those subcontractors he couldn't pay them because he wasn't receiving enough money from Bouma — effectively lying to both the contractor and subcontractors while pocketing the difference, the indictment says.
Amundson said Hossley also was using payments from Bouma for personal expenses — including a nearly $30,000 credit card payment — and to help support a Baton Rouge restaurant he had recently opened and co-owned. When Bouma became suspicious and implemented safeguards including for subcontractors to acknowledge payments in writing, Hossley forged the signatures of some subcontractors, according to the indictment.
Finally, Hossley paid someone $2,500 to sign a false affidavit claiming responsibility for the forgeries, the indictment says. First Millennium ultimately paid its subcontractors less than half of the $948,000 it received from Bouma.
Amundson said Hossley also lied in his contract application, claiming he had no criminal record when in fact he had multiple federal convictions for wire fraud and bank fraud, among other charges.
"Mr. Hossley met justice this afternoon in federal court and will be spending his days and nights in a well deserved prison cell," Amundson said in a statement Tuesday. "Because of the defendant's fraud, the general contractor was unable to pay employee bonuses and the school's students had to start the year in a temporary facility."
In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles ordered Hossley to make restitution payments and assigned him three years of supervised release.