---- — DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A third man has been arrested for his involvement in a theft and money-laundering operation that defrauded the Iowa Department of Transportation, the state Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.
Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Gerard Meyers said authorities have charged Jason Weigel, 30, of Nevada, Iowa, with ongoing criminal conduct, fraudulent practices and identity theft for his role in the case.
Weigel is currently in custody at Fort Dodge Correctional Facility where he is serving a prison sentence for drunk driving.
Weigel is the son of David Weigel, of Nevada, Iowa, a former Department of Transportation employee who was arrested in April along with Grady Marx, of Sioux City, Iowa. The two were charged with theft, conspiracy to commit theft, money laundering and criminal conduct.
David Weigel is accused of selling state land and pocketing some of the proceeds, as well as charging people for maintenance of state land and keeping the money. Marx is accused of receiving some of that money, as well as conspiring with David Weigel on a mowing contract deal. Weigel would allegedly pay Marx thousands of dollars in state money for mowing public land that he did not mow, then got some of money back, which he deposited in his personal accounts.
Meyers did not detail Jason Weigel's role in the operation. But he said the trio stole more than $500,000 in state money. Meyers said the new charges were the result of a tip from a member of the public.
Weigel never worked for the Department of Transportation, according to DOT spokeswoman Andrea Henry.
A woman who answered the phone at David Weigel's home said he was not available and she did not know the name of his attorney. A number listed for Grady rang, but no one picked up.