Two men, including the former head of Lehi’s Streets Department, were formally charged Friday with embezzling more than $790,000 from the city.
Wade Leigh Allred, 42, of Lehi, and Adam Garth Lake, 42, of Enoch, Iron County, are each charged in 4th District Court with 14 second-degree felonies, including money laundering, engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, six counts of communications fraud and six counts of theft.
Between May 2014 and July 2019, Allred bought more than $790,000 worth of snow removal material from Cedar City-based Vinco Enterprises — a business owned by Lake, his cousin — but none of the materials were actually delivered, according to prosecutors.
The men are accused of devising a scheme in which Allred would submit invoices to Lehi to pay Vinco, Lake’s company.
“The invoices purported to be for hauling loads of road salt, road base, recycled road base, and other building materials for use by the Lehi City Streets Department,” according to charging documents. “Allred was responsible for ordering these materials for Lehi City. During this time period, Lehi City paid $791,582 to the company owned by defendant Lake as payment on these invoices.”
However, the material listed on the invoices “was never delivered to Lehi,” the charges state, adding that Allred was the only Lehi employee with the responsibility to verify that the loads were delivered and that he “did not maintain any sort of record or keep delivery receipts.”
Police were contacted when an employee who was involved with one of the road projects, found an invoice for backfill and “knew that no such delivery had been made in connection with that project,” according to the charges. That employee then researched Vinco and discovered it was owned by Allred’s cousin.
The employee also told investigators that only one company had delivered road salt for Lehi over the past five years, and it was not Vinco, the charges state.
“The employee said the amount of salt purported to have been delivered by Vinco along with the salt delivered by the regular company was well over the amount that Lehi City had used and what was left over,” according to the court documents.
Allred allegedly claimed that the salt was delivered from one of the state’s two red salt vendors. A representative for that company, however, “said he had never heard of Vinco,” according to the charges.
Allred then claimed that Lehi used a product called squeegee with its road salt, the charges state. “Other employees said that Lehi City had not mixed squeegee with the salt for at least five years and that is not a product that Lehi City uses.”
The charges say “at least one of the invoices referenced materials specifically for projects completed by Geneva Rock. A representative from Geneva Rock said they do not use the product referenced in the invoice and that they use their own material and would have not have had anyone else deliver it.”
Later, in August, Allred “tried to get the other employee to say that the other employee had been verifying loads. The other employee had never verified any loads,” according to the charges.
The Deseret News first reported the investigation in October. A spokesman for Lehi said Allred was no longer a city employee as of Oct. 1.