Jury finds Franklin Fennell guilty on all counts; faces 30-37 months in prison

The FBI testified in the trial that its investigation into kickback schemes involving the Vigo County School Corporation and vendors is ongoing.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2017 9:59 AM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2017 11:17 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - A verdict has been reached in the trial of former Vigo County School Facilities Director Franklin Fennell.

The jury found him guilty on all 12 charges.

Those charges break down to nine counts of wire fraud, two counts of lying to federal investigators, and one count of stealing government funds.

It took the jury less than three hours to make their decision.

This investigation started with a kickback scheme that the government says was between Mike Pick, owner of M & P Properties, Frank Shahadey, former deputy sheriff for the Vigo County Sheriff's Office, and Franklin Fennell, the former facilities director of the Vigo County School Corporation.

In that kickback scheme, the government says that Shahadey and Fennell both pocketed at least $110,000.

Fennell faces 30-37 months in prison.

“We are pleased with the verdict and proud of our trial team,” said US Attorney Josh Minkler. “Public officials are supposed to serve the public, and not the other way around,” said Minkler. “When greed becomes more important than serving the public, there are consequences and my office will hold offenders accountable.”

We don't have an exact sentencing date at this time, but it is expected to be handed down in January or February.

Fennell was allowed to be released on Wednesday night pending the sentencing.

Shahadey was sentenced to 16-months in prison back in October for his part of this investigation. 

News 10's Jon Swaner reports that the FBI testified in the trial that its investigation into kickback schemes involving the Vigo County School Corporation and vendors is ongoing. 

We will continue to bring you the latest information in this story as soon as it becomes available.

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