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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
August 26, 2004, Decided ; August 26, 2004, Filed
[*1116] TJOFLAT, Circuit Judge:
The defendants in this case--Randy Blankenship, Tammy Blankenship, [**2] Howard Glover, and Tarand Transport, Inc.--were convicted of a variety of federal offenses stemming from an affirmative action fraud scheme they perpetrated regarding federally funded road construction projects. We conclude that the district court acted properly in conducting a joint trial of the defendants and that the defendants did not suffer undue prejudice due to the prosecution's closing arguments to the jury. However, we reverse the Blankenships' convictions for money laundering and most of Glover's convictions for making false statements, and remand this case to the district court so that the defendants may be resentenced.
Because the ] defendants are challenging their convictions, we interpret the facts in the light most favorable to the government. See United States v. Pendergraft, 297 F.3d 1198, 1200 n.1 (11th Cir. 2002). The Florida Department of Transportation (the "FDOT") received grants from the United States Department of Transportation (the "USDOT") to subsidize construction of Interstate Highway 4 ("I-4"). As a condition of receiving these grants, the FDOT was contractually obligated to ensure that at least 12% of the USDOT's funds ultimately [**3] went to "disadvantaged business enterprises" ("DBEs"). A DBE is a small firm owned and controlled by a woman or minority. See Fla. Admin. Code Ann. § 14-78.002(9).
The construction of I-4 was broken down into several smaller segments, including the "3430 project" and the "3431 project." The FDOT contracted with Granite Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the nation, to be its prime contractor on both projects. As part of its agreement with the FDOT, Granite was required to ensure that at least 12% of its subcontracts for both projects were set aside for DBEs. To help fulfill this requirement, Granite hired H.J. Trucking, a licensed DBE owned by Howard Glover (an African-American) to provide hauling services at the 3431 project construction site.
H.J. Trucking, however, never owned more than one dump truck or had any [*1117] employees, and so was unable to perform such a large project. Consequently, Glover entered into an oral agreement with Randy and Tammy Blankenship ("the Blankenships"), who owned Tarand Transport, Inc. The Blankenships agreed to use Tarand's equipment and employees to do all the work on the 3431 project, while making Granite believe [**4] that it was being done by H.J. Trucking. Tammy Blankenship prepared various documents, including EEO forms, subcontracts, leases, and certified payroll records, to help foster the appearance that H.J. Trucking's employees and owner-operators 2 were performing the hauling at the construction sites, when the people doing the work were really under Tarand's control. 3
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382 F.3d 1110 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 18157 **; 17 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 953
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus RANDY W. BLANKENSHIP, TAMMY J. BLANKENSHIP, a.k.a. Tammy Blankenship Northrup, a.k.a. Tammy Northrup, a.k.a. Tammy Owens, TARAND TRANSPORT, INC., HOWARD L. GLOVER, Defendants-Appellants.
Subsequent History: Rehearing, en banc, denied by United States v. Blankenship, 124 Fed. Appx. 644, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 28248 (2004)
Rehearing, en banc, denied by United States v. Blankenship, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 28647 (11th Cir. Fla., Dec. 28, 2004)
US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Glover v. United States, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 6127 (U.S., Oct. 3, 2005)
Prior History: [**1] Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 00-00382-CR-T-26.
Disposition: The judgment of district court AFFIRMED in part, REVERSED in part, and REMANDED for resentencing.
Trucking, false statement, funds, convictions, conceal, money laundering, counts, federal government, severance, deposit, federal funds, supervision, contracts, leases, checks, indictment, district court, federal agency, payroll, joint trial, cases, proceeds, promises, transactions, co-defendants, reimbursement, parties, jurisdictional requirement, contractor, make a false statement
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