Four accused of lying to get government contracts

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A North Carolina construction company owner and his business partners are accused of lying to obtain millions of dollars in government contracts.

According to an indictment, Rickey Lanier; his wife, Katrina Lanier; and Latoya Speight falsely claimed that two construction companies operated by the trio were owned and operated by other people. The indictment says the Laniers and Speight lied to obtain government contracts set aside for small businesses and disabled veterans.

They obtained more than $14 million in contracts.

Emanuel Hill, of Louisville, Kentucky, is accused of conspiring with them to create one of the companies.

All four defendants pleaded not guilty at a Tuesday hearing in federal court in Greeneville, Tennessee. All were released on $20,000 bond except for Hill, who was released on $50,000 bond.