A former close friend of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been released on bond following arraignment in federal court on eight charges, including conspiracy to defraud the government.
Bobby Ferguson, who owns a demolition company, is accused of getting receiving $11 million in contracts by falsifying bids.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf Monday afternoon.
Ferguson appeared Monday in Detroit U.S. District Court, where Magistrate Virginia Morgan freed him on a $10,000 personal bond.
When asked outside the court if he had any comments, he simply answered “no sir.”
The indictment charges Ferguson and seven co-defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud and money laundering.
The indictment alleges Ferguson formed several companies and in turn steered contracts for the housing project to those companies owned by Ferguson.
One other charge is conspiracy to willfully injure property of the United States. Those charges arise from Ferguson Enterprises improperly dumping construction debris, soil and excavated materials at the Garden View Estates site.
The debris was from other job sites, but the federal government claims Ferguson avoided “hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposal fees and instead dumped multiple truckloads of excavated soil, construction debris and other materials at the Garden View Estates site.”
According to the indictment, preliminary estimates show that it will cost the Department of Housing and Urban Development more than $1.2-million to clean it up.
View a copy of the indictment (.pdf format)
The day he was indicted, federal agents seized more than $980,000 in cash and cashiers checks, a shotgun, brass knuckles and suspected drugs during raids on property tied to Ferguson.
Copyright, 2010. WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.