Multi-County Grand Jury indicts three in Swadley’s contract scandal

Friday, 09 February 2024 07:34

Multi-County Grand Jury indicts three in Swadley’s contract scandal Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 8, 2024) – The Multi-County Grand Jury has indicted three men for conspiracy to defraud the state and other fraudulent claims stemming from the Swadley’s Bar-B-Q contract with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

Ronald Brent Swadley, Curtis Ray Breuklander and Timothy Raymond Hooper are charged with one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the state and five felony counts of presenting false or fraudulent claims against the state.

“The indictments issued today contain serious charges and will be prosecuted by my office on behalf of the People of Oklahoma,” said Attorney General Gentner Drummond.  

Prosecutors allege that Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen presented false invoices to the Tourism Department for payment of public funds and that the company directed a restaurant equipment supplier to fabricate invoices with inflated amounts for equipment. In one instance, a fabricated invoice for two used food smokers allegedly was increased by an additional 30 percent.

According to the indictment, two separate sets of invoices were maintained by Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen with one set containing original invoices received and paid by the company and the other set containing fraudulent invoices billed to the Tourism Department. The indictment alleges the conspiracy to defraud the State began in October of 2019 until the contract was cancelled in 2022.

Last January, Drummond announced that his office would work with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in the probe of potential wrongdoing involving the Swadley’s contract with the State of Oklahoma. Swadley’s entered into an exclusive contract in March 2020 with the state Tourism Department to provide restaurants at five state parks. In 2021, two additional state parks were added to the contract; one park was later removed.

The state canceled its contract with Swadley’s in April 2022 following allegations of fraudulent activity. During the same month, Tourism and Recreation Director Jerry Winchester resigned from the agency and the state filed a civil suit against the company for breach of contract. That case is separate from today’s criminal indictments.

The indictments were issued this morning and were unsealed hours later at the Oklahoma County Courthouse. They are available here.

Every individual indicted is presumed innocent unless and until convicted in a court of law.


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