Two men took government money and promised to bring 1,000 jobs to Pikeville in Bledsoe County, but they ended up not fulfilling their end of the agreement, according to various news outlets.
They ended up taking a sizable amount of money from the government they weren’t entitled to, according to news reports.
“A federal seizure warrant says around June 2017, Karim Sadruddin and Rahim Sadruddin acted through one of their businesses, Textile Corporation of America, Inc. (TCA), to receive a $3 million economic development grant from Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD),” according to the Chattanooga-based WTVC.
“The plan was for the Sadruddins to purchase and renovate a textile manufacturing facility in Pikeville, Bledsoe County, Tennessee. They joined then-governor Bill Haslam for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in July 2017.”
According to The Daily Beast, TCA “fabricated evidence of work performed” in order to draw grants from the federally-owed Tennessee Valley Authority and the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development.
“The FBI alleges that the company’s owners pocketed much of that money for personal use,” according to The Daily Beast.
The Sadruddins provided fake invoices and fake wire transfer records as proof that they had already paid for the costs of renovating the facility in order to receive payback from the state grant, according to WTVC.
“That contract was worth $30.7 million. The Sadruddins, in the capacity of their businesses, agreed to deliver 475,000 ‘self-help tarps’ to victims affected by the 2017 hurricanes,” the TV station reported.
“These court documents claim the Sadruddins did not follow the contract, and provided tarps that did not meet the manufacturing requirements. FEMA paid the Sadruddins $3.7 million for the contract before suspending the contract.”
Tennessee’s ECD reportedly released the following statement:
“This is indeed an unfortunate situation on a multitude of levels. We are most disappointed for the residents and families of Pikeville and Bledsoe County.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Bledsoe County Courthouse” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY-SA 4.0