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FBI: Company bilked government after Hurricane Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida company with a former House speaker as a top executive allegedly charged local government millions of dollars for Hurricane Michael cleanup that it never performed, according to an FBI affidavit that was released last week as part of an ongoing investigation.

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The Panama City News Herald reported that GAC Contractors ordered crews to move equipment to Bay County schools after the 2018 Category 5 hurricane, but not to do any work, according to the affidavit. The company then billed the county and school district for the equipment.

The company lists former House Speaker Allen Bense as its chairman. Bense didn’t return a call from the newspaper seeking comment.

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The company did do cleanup work at the homes of its executives and several public officials in order to curry favor with the officials, and then sent the bills to local government, the affidavit said.

The affidavit was written to obtain a search warrant for GAC records. It was unsealed last week. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford declined to comment on the investigation.

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