Man sentenced in $100 million surety bond fraud scheme

A Florida man has been sentenced to prison for running a surety bond fraud scheme that affected construction projects across the country, including in DeKalb County and McDonough, federal authorities said.

Eric Campbell, 57, of Orange Park, Fla., who pleaded guilty and was convicted in October 2014, received four years, nine months and must pay restitution of $1,904,376.67 for his plot concerning surety bonds, which are meant to ensure contract completion in the event of a contractor default.

Campbell “lied to building contractors and government agencies about his qualifications to issue surety bonds,” acting U.S. attorney John Horn said. “When his fraud was uncovered and a new valid surety bond had to be found, the construction bidding process was compromised for various projects across the country.

“There were construction delays, and the construction firms that unwittingly purchased fraudulent surety bonds from the defendant lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums they had paid,” Horn said.

From August 2012 until July 2013, Campbell used several corporations to sell fraudulent surety bonds on construction projects, according to Horn and the charges. Campbell caused fraudulent surety bonds to be submitted to DeKalb County and McDonough, the U.S. Veterans Administration and various other communities and entities.

Campbell and his associates issued bonds with a face value of more than $100 million and received premium payments of more than $2.2 million during the course of the fraud, the government said.