A Scott County man has been accused of making fake bonds for a county project, in what appears to be a pattern of fraud and other criminal activity.
Gerard Leonard Roy, 53, who co-owns RSI Associates Inc., has been charged with five counts of forgery after allegedly fabricating bond documents for a county construction project.
The Scott County Board awarded a contract worth more than $260,000 to RSI in July for work on the Cleary Lake Park Visitor's Center. RSI's bid was the lowest by nearly $92,000.
According to a Scott County criminal complaint filed last week, the county later learned that the Western Surety bonds for the project — which ensure that work will be completed and subcontractors will be paid — weren't real. At that point, the county had already paid Roy more than $250,000.
The complaint said a search of RSI's Prior Lake office found laptops and documents showing that Roy may have been fabricating bonds for other projects. There were signature stamps for notaries, as well as Western Surety Co. seals and stamps.
Also among the evidence were a folder for the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority in Burnsville and information related to Hastings' Riverfront Renaissance project.
Hastings recently suspended the riverfront project after learning that RSI's bonds — also purporting to be from Western Surety — may have been forged. Roy also was the lowest bidder for that project, receiving a nearly $420,000 contract for work including a veterans memorial, a park and landscaping.
The Hastings Police Department turned that case over to the Dakota County attorney, and criminal charges are being considered.
Surety companies issue bonds after an application process that looks at factors like financial situation and criminal history to determine that a contractor is capable of completing a project.
Roy has an extensive criminal history including multiple fraud convictions, in addition to others for crimes including theft, drug possession and fleeing police.
Before RSI, he did business under the name Omni Construction Co., and received a $5,000 fine for failing to disclose his criminal history on a license application.
According to the recent criminal complaint, Roy admitted to law enforcement multiple times that he'd created fraudulent documents. On Feb. 11, he told a Scott County detective that he created fake bonds because his criminal history prevented him from securing them lawfully.
RSI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 19. Hastings City Attorney Daniel Fluegel said Tuesday that the city will participate in bankruptcy proceedings in order to recover any funds it may be entitled to.
Roy could not be reached Wednesday. A call Tuesday to a number associated with RSI was answered by a woman who declined to identify herself, but who confirmed the work in Hastings and said, "We thought our bonds were legitimate and they're not."