Ex-Muncie building commissioner agrees to plead guilty to money laundering and wire fraud

Craig Nichols indicted after FBI raid

MUNCIE, Ind. – Former Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols agreed to plead guilty Thursday to money laundering and wire fraud as part of an agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed the remaining 32 criminal charges against Nichols.

Federal agents arrested Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols in 2017 after the FBI searched his home and office at Muncie City Hall.

He faces 20 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release for each count.

A grand jury indicted Nichols following a year-long investigation into city building permits.

The indictment said Nichols abused his position of trust by using sham bidding practices and submitting fraudulent invoices to steer work to his companies, and then bill Muncie more than $376,000 for work his company either never performed or performed at inflated prices. 

As part of his plea agreement, Nichols will have to pay restitution to his victims including $52,500 to subcontractors for two demolitions.

At his sentencing, a judge can require Nichols to pay additional restitution to his victims.

On January 2, 2017, FBI agents removed boxes of documents, some labeled "building permits," from Nichols' office in Muncie.

MORE | FBI removes documents during search of Muncie building commissioner's office

A jury trial was originally scheduled for August 27.

No word yet on when Nichols will be sentenced.

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