The cost of investigating a $3 million theft from Floyd County Schools keeps growing, with more than 6,000 man-hours already spent examining the case, said Floyd County Police Chief Bill Shiflett.
“We expect numerous arrests to be made soon,” Shiflett said during the county Public Safety Committee meeting Thursday. He told the Rome News-Tribune he expects to make between 12 and 14 arrests.
The man-hours spent investigating the RICO case include two investigators working the case full-time, a police records clerk reassigned, and two part-time employees hired to assist police, Shiflett said.
Fourteen search warrants and consent searches have been executed, he said, resulting in the freezing of $41,109 in bank accounts assets — along with $243,500 in cash seized and placed in the forfeiture account.
Additionally, $432,000 has been returned to Floyd County Schools vendors and others after the scheme was discovered.
More than 50 bank accounts and credit cards have been analyzed, along with 200 interviews conducted and around 30 out-of-town trips made to gather evidence, he said.
Thousands of Floyd County Schools invoices have been analyzed, he added.
The FBI and GBI have become involved in the investigation, which began in October 2014, Shiflett said. The GBI was called in to audit all the bids submitted by the school system for the past five years.
Derry Richardson and other defendants named in a civil filing under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act have not been charged criminally.
The civil case states that Richardson and others inflated and falsified invoices paid by the school system.
His property and assets were seized and are now being administered by a court-appointed receiver.
Other seizures made by police, provided by Shiflett, include:
- Two duplex apartments valued at $100,000 each.
- Richardson’s home at 241 Riverbluff Road in Summerville, valued at more than $525,000.
- Two Bobcats, all-terrain vehicles, five vehicles, appliances and skeet-shooting trailers.
- A Kubota tractor, valued at over $100,000.
- Five ExMark mowers, valued at $10,000 each.
- 60 firearms, some valued at more than $5,000 each, including automatic weapons and silencers.
- Thousands of rounds of ammunition.