SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News

Salesman pleads guilty to defrauding 100 Mississippi schools over football equipment

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

A former salesman faces a maximum of three decades in prison for conspiring to scam more than 100 Mississippi schools out of taxpayer dollars in rigged contracts for football equipment.

Charles Ferrell Trimm has fessed up to his role in two conspiracies to rig bids in violation of the Sherman Act and one conspiracy to commit wire fraud — all related to sports equipment for schools located in the Magnolia State and beyond.

According to court documents, Trimm, a salesman with sports equipment provider Riddell, conspired with two unnamed sports equipment distributors and numerous individuals to rig bids from August 2020 through November 2022 and from May 2021 to February 2023. Trimm and his co-conspirators agreed to submit complementary bids to schools located in Mississippi and elsewhere in order to obtain contracts for school sports equipment and related services.

Trimm also conspired with unnamed cohorts to commit wire fraud by submitting false bids to schools located in Mississippi and elsewhere from May 2016 to July 2023. As a part of this scheme, Trimm and others used an unidentified individual’s identity without authorization, including by forging the individual’s signature.

“The conspirators took advantage of schools in Mississippi by rigging bids to affect the prices schools paid for sports equipment,” U.S. Attorney Todd Gee for the Southern District of Mississippi said. “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting these types of anti-competitive practices and ensuring that schools and other buyers can obtain goods and services from a fair and open marketplace.”

If convicted, for the Sherman Act violation, Trimm faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine that could be upped. If convicted of the fraud charge, Trimm faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a criminal fine, and court-ordered restitution.

The Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal Section and the FBI investigated this case as part of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the school sports equipment industry. Trial Attorneys Jill Rogowski, Laura Butte, Marc Hedrich, and Evan Binder prosecuted the case.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More