Auditor links former Iowa DOT worker to more fraud

DES MOINES – A former Iowa Department of Transportation employee already facing charges in connection with a theft and money laundering operation has been linked to other inappropriate transactions, the state auditor said Monday.

David Weigel, of Nevada, is connected to more than $195,000 in improper disbursements, improper disability benefits and uncollected lease payments, according to an addendum released by Auditor Mary Mosiman.

A report in April linked Weigel to more than $580,000 in inappropriate transactions between January 1994 and July 2011. The recent addendum covers a period through June 2013.

Weigel, a former employee in the property management section of the agency’s right of way office, had no comment when contacted by phone Monday. He said he had not heard about the addendum, which includes more than $117,000 in payments by DOT to L Jay’s Construction.

Weigel authorized the payments to an informant, according to the addendum. The informant, who told the Division of Criminal Investigation that he was not affiliated with any construction company, then issued checks totaling more than $111,000 from a personal bank account to Weigel’s son, Jason Weigel, or on behalf of him. Most of the money was deposited into David Weigel’s personal bank account.

The more than $76,000 of improper disability benefits includes over $39,000 from the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System and more than $36,000 from the Social Security Administration. David Weigel was not eligible for the money, according to the addendum.

Weigel is one of three men connected to a theft and money laundering operation that was revealed in the April report. He is accused of selling state land and pocketing some of the proceeds. He’s also accused of charging people for maintenance of state land and keeping the money.

Grady Marx, of Sioux City, Iowa, is accused of receiving some of the money, as well as conspiring on a mowing contract deal. Both men face numerous charges including theft, money laundering and criminal conduct.

Jason Weigel, David Weigel’s son, faces charges of ongoing criminal conduct, fraudulent practices and identity theft for his role in the case.