April 23, 2014

Another charged in Iowa DOT money-laundering case

The son of a man accused of getting kick-backs for the sale of state property is now charged in the conspiracy, too.

Thirty-year-old Jason Weigel of Nevada is already in prison, serving a sentence for drunk driving, and on Tuesday he was charged with three felonies, including ongoing criminal conduct and identity theft. 

“These charges stem from his involvement in several efforts to defraud the Iowa Department of Transportation of money and land,” Gerard Meyers, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Three months ago Weigel’s father, 56-year-old David Weigel of Nevada, was arrested and accused of using his position in the DOT to get kick-backs for the sale of excess property along completed highway expansion projects. Authorities seized some of Weigel’s assets in April, including a number of vehicles. During today’s news conference, Meyers was reluctant to reveal many details of the younger Weigel’s alleged role in the conspiracy.

“He was involved in a number of efforts to move the proceeds from some land transactions, so in essence he was involved in the overall theft of Department of Transportation monies,” Meyers said.

Read the criminal complaint against Jason Weigel here.

Authorities say the elder Weigel also directed DOT contracts to 59-year-old Grady Marx of Sioux City — and Marx paid Weigel back 49.99 percent of what he’d been paid by the DOT. The two older men were arrested in April. Their trials are scheduled for early next year.

“As of July, 2013, agents with the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Iowa Financial Investigations Team have identified more than $500,000 of DOT monies that was illegally secured by the Weigels and/or Grady Marx,” Meyers said.

A tip from a citizen helped investigators track the younger Weigel’s involvement in the case, according to Meyers.

“Like with any ongoing investigation, we hope to have the continued support of the public in providing information and, as such, other further arrests and indictments are certainly not out of the question,” Meyers said.

In court documents filed in April, a state agent working on the case mentioned Barbara Weigel, the wife and mother of the two men who now face charges in this case, and called her “complicit” in the crimes against the Department of Transportation, but she has not been charged. The Weigel’s other son, Jeremy, was mentioned in the affidavit as having mowed DOT property.