Former Memphis city employee and others indicted for government-contracting scheme

Former City Worker indicted

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A former Memphis city employee and nine other acquaintances are facing indictments in connection with a government-contracting scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Leon Blackmon Sr. and nine others were indicted for defrauding the City of Memphis by allegedly causing the city to pay out at least $1.6 million to city vendors, in which 50% of funds resulted from fraud.

According to the indictment, Blackmon Sr. was an analyst with the City of Memphis-Division of Housing and Community Development and maintained city-owned properties and selected vendors to maintain them under the city HCD Maintenance Program. The other nine indicted were connected to local lawn care companies.

Those charged in the indictment include the following:

  • Leon Blackmon Sr., former City of Memphis employee
  • Leon Blackmon Jr., of Memphis
  • Karl “Shun" Blackmon, of Memphis
  • Larry Donnell Banks Jr., Banks Lawncare & Landscaping
  • Charles M. Bell, Charles Bell’s Lawn Care
  • Shaunita Callicutt, A Perfect Edge Lawn Service, L&S Lawn Maintenance and Professional Mowers of Memphis
  • Sharon Taylor, Sheron’s Lawn Service
  • Teressa Taylor, TLT Beautiful Lawns
  • Henry Taylor, Hanks Lawn Service
  • Mendal Wade, Lisdel Lawn Service

Officials say all defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and multiple individual mail fraud charges. They could face up to five years for the conspiracy offense and up to 20 years for the mail fraud offense. Blackmon Sr. also faces up to fives years for false statements to federal agents.

WMC reached out to the City of Memphis for a comment. A spokesperson said Blackmon Sr. hasn’t been an employee since 2016 and they have no comment.

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