Tennessee man sentenced in Kentucky jail kickback scheme

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A Tennessee businessman has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison in connection with a conspiracy involving jail construction in Kentucky.

The U.S. attorney’s office said U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell sentenced 60-year-old Ronald D. Armstrong on Thursday and ordered him to pay $100,000 restitution.

Armstrong is the owner of Armstrong Construction in Dresden, Tennessee. He pleaded guilty to four charges, including wire fraud, in a conspiracy that involved then-Fulton County (Kentucky) Jailer Ricky D. Parnell and others.

Prosecutors said in a news release that Armstrong’s company was awarded a $210,000 contract as part of a jail expansion and that Parnell influenced the awarding of the contract in return for kickbacks.

Parnell and another Tennessee man have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. A Kentucky businessman was previously sentenced to probation. Charges against another Tennessee defendant were dismissed.

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