A Claremore man employed as an accountant with a Tulsa engineering firm was indicted in federal court Thursday for allegedly bribing and scheming millions of dollars from the City of Tulsa.

Stuart Jay Franklin, 48, Claremore, was charged along with two former employees of the City of Tulsa, and one businessman from Owasso, Sapulpa and Bartlesville.

The initial players in the alleged indictment are Larry Wayne Baker, 52, the City of Tulsa’s former design engineering manager, and Albert S. Martinez, 47, the city’s former field engineering manager. Both men worked in the city’s Public Works Department.

Baker and Martinez are separately charged with either receiving or paying bribes to influence the award of contracts by the City of Tulsa for engineering consulting services.

Along with Franklin, three other businessmen were also charged, including Harlan Eugene Yocham, 49, Sapulpa, owner of Yocham Enterprises; Max Elliot Wolf, 56, Owasso, president of Horizon Construction Company, Inc.; and Kenneth Kirk Shoemaker, 46, Bartlesville, president and part owner of FBS Inc. and an officer of FBS Engineering, Inc., both Tulsa companies. Franklin and Shoemaker are charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, bribery and will be forced to forfeit properties they own, including approximately six properties in Claremore and Rogers County if found guilty.

All of the defendants made an appearance in federal court in Tulsa on Thursday afternoon and are scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Jan. 29.

According to the indictment, Franklin, an accountant for FBS Inc. of Tulsa; Shoemaker and Martinez allegedly participated in a conspiracy and scheme between mid-2005 until the indictment was unsealed Thursday to defraud the City of Tulsa by bribing Martinez to use his vote and influence on a committee of the Public Works Department. That committee voted to award contracts for engineering inspection services on public works construction projects, including Tulsa city streets and bridges. Those bribes allowed the contracts to be awarded to FBS Engineers, Inc., and FBS, Inc. The alleged scheme used interstate wire transfers to be made by the City of Tulsa to pay FBS, Inc., and invoices trace the transactions by the Bank of Oklahoma to an account at Arvest Bank.

The indictment has given the defendants notice that the government intends to forfeit the proceeds of the conspiracy and wire fraud scheme in the amount of $2.3 million.

Wolf and Martinez are alleged to have frauded the city some $1.9 million by illegally inflating final payment invoices submitted by Horizon Construction Company on public construction projects. The proceeds from these projects were allegedly shared equally between the defendants. According to the indictment, money was sent from an account at Bank of Oklahoma to First Bank of Owasso, and Wolf allegedly sent Martinez his share of the proceeds through the mail.

Yocham is charged with bribery and has also been given a notice of forfeiture. The allegations against Yocham and Martinez state between May and October 2007 Yocham paid and Martinez received a $10,000 bribe in exchange for awarding a contract to Yocham Enterprise. Yocham also allegedly paid an additional bribe of $7,000 for the purpose of influencing the city to award contracts to his company. The allegations stated these bribery offenses include the alleged $10,000 bribe as well as an additional $69,430.

Baker’s allegations include briberies between November 2006 and November 2007 when he allegedly bribed a city employee with $9,000 for a vote in awarding an inspection contract. That employee was stated to be a member of the committee at the Public Works Department. The specific contract was the widening of 36th Street North from the Osage County line to North Cincinnati Ave. The government has also issued a notice to forfeit against Baker, should he be found guilty, for $199,000 in proceeds from the alleged bribery.

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