Bryan Cohen Aug. 22, 2014, 2:30pm

WARSAW, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a lawsuit Thursday against a former Warsaw city official and a pipe contractor who allegedly defrauded about $334,000 from the city.

Lacy Francis Jr., the former street superintendent for the city of Warsaw, allegedly joined in a fraudulent scheme with Marc Campbell, the owner and president of Pro Form Pipe Lining Company. Francis and Campbell allegedly worked together to intentionally overbill the city for costs of storm sewer projects.

Francis allegedly used his position as street superintendent to manipulate the public bidding process so Campbell's company would win the bid for the projects. Campbell then allegedly billed the city for significantly more work than his company actually performed.

Following the work, Campbell allegedly paid $51,000 back to Francis for steering the work to his company.

“Defrauding the taxpayers through overpayment for an infrastructure project for personal gain undermines the public trust," Zoeller said. "My office will use all the legal tools at our disposal to claw back funds from the defendants involved in this brazen scheme and will work with the county prosecutor to obtain restitution for the city."

The attorney general’s lawsuit seeks the alleged amount of loss, $318,569, in addition to $15,164.88 in reimbursements for audit costs.

The city of Warsaw had a blanket $25,000 policy through the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company against employee theft, but anything not covered by insurance would be the defendants' personal responsibility.

Kosciusko County Circuit Court granted a temporary restraining order against Francis, Campbell and Pro Form that will prohibit the defendants from transferring or concealing assets while the case is pending.

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