Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Riley Appointee M. William "Bill" Campbell, Jr. Indicted on $7.3 Million Theft of Alabama State Funds

"Riley's Boys" Former ADEM Director Glenn (L) & Bill "Sir William" Campbell Summer 2008
Guilty verdict returned Nov. 17th on all 96 counts
FBI release

**Follow up story posted April 12, 2011 

April 1, 2011 FBI Press Release:
BIRMINGHAM—A federal fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy indictment was unsealed today against the former state director of a college consortium of business development centers, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Pat Maley, and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent In Charge Reginael D. McDaniel.

The 96-count indictment, returned March 30, charges MAURICE WILLIAM CAMPBELL  JR., 59, of Rainbow City, with using his position as state director of the Alabama Small Business Development Consortium to obtain more than $7 million from the State of Alabama.

The indictment charges Campbell with conspiracy to defraud the state and a private non-profit institute he incorporated, and to make financial transactions intended to conceal the proceeds of the fraud. The indictment also charges Campbell with three counts of mail fraud, 56 counts of wire fraud, and 36 counts of money laundering. It also provides notice that the United States will seek forfeiture of $7,326,569.

About February 2005, Campbell incorporated the Alabama Small Business Institute of Commerce. Campbell was the president, a director, the initial registered agent, and the incorporator of the institute. The stated purpose of the institute was to enhance economic development, increase employment, and reduce business failure in Alabama through business education and workforce training.

The institute was formed as a nonprofit, with the representation that the corporation would not be operated for private profit, nor its assets at any time be used to benefit any shareholder, member, director, trustee, officer or other private person. The institute was expressly organized as a private, non-profit, charitable organization.

The institute received nearly all of its funding from the state through grants, contracts, and appropriations in the education budget. From 2005 through 2010, the private nonprofit Institute received more than $7.3 million in public funds to, among other services, provide education and training to Alabama workers.

The indictment charges that Campbell and others used the state funds provided to the Institute for personal gain through a variety of means, including the use of the mails and wires. The indictment further charges that Campbell and others created a number of other entities—into which state funds provided to the Institute were deposited and later spent—in order to conceal the source, ownership, and control of those funds.
There's more to the story of the ASBDC and we're seeing once again the bad behavior of "Riley boys" looting the state coffers and violating the trust of Alabama's citizens. Glenn had to resign his post as ADEM Director amid controversy and Mr. Campbell, well, we see what he's been doing don't we? At least we are seeing some of it, but we'll probably never know the whole story.

What we do know is that are too many quasi-governmental agencies in place whose duties seem to overlap each other and positions are created to put as many porkers at the trough as possible. Creating so many state governmental agencies also serves to shuffle money around and make it almost impossible to track the funds, thwarting any accountability until it's too late, as in the case of Campbell, and the money is long gone.

Big government does not lend itself to transparency and that's the idea. It was certainly Riley's idea it appears.

Riley added insult to injury and gave Mr. Campbell an additional plum role a full two years after the thefts began and appointed Campbell as a "special adviser" to the Alabama Rural Action Commission in Summer of 2007 according to the ASBDC newsletter:
Governor Bob Riley appointed ASBDC State Director, William Campbell, as a Special Advisor to the Alabama Rural Action Commission (ARAC).

Crows the rooster Riley about this multi-layered economic endeavor:  
Governor Riley said “I am excited about our efforts to expand the action commission model statewide.”  We have an exceptional leadership team in Central Alabama that is working hard to involve local citizens and to build the partnerships needed to improve the quality of life for citizens in this part of our state.”

How many agencies do we need in this state that are focused on economic development? Wouldn't it make better fiscal sense to have one central agency? The answer is absolutely yes! And if we had one main agency in place, maybe we would still have $7.3 million in our Education Fund coffers. And whose idea was it to fund the ASBDC with education fund money? The Alabama Legislature helped to make that happen through bill passage. Was that approved because ASBDC is affiliated with the four-year college system and the federal government was piping money into the state under certain approved uses?

Federal money has gotten Alabama into more trouble because of greed, misappropriation and the basic inability to balance the books more than anything else. Our politicians are like crack addicts with federal money and like an addict, they simply cannot be trusted to make fiscally sound decisions. Instead, they pass it around to their buddies and large campaign donors by creating all these redundant agencies.

We were in education prorartion twice under Riley and here we are again in Bentley's term right back in it again. Our schools and Alabama's children have to suffer because of grown men acting irresponsibly. It's no wonder the state education system and state budgets are in shambles. With all the dual salaries (double dipping), agencies doing the same thing under a different name and political payback, the government in this state is ripe for corruption and misappropriation of vast sums of money.

Campbell set up his own little "non-profit" drainer the Alabama Small Business Institute of Commerce that received all of it's money through appropriations, grants and contracts from the education budget. It was the perfect ruse to pilfer with wild abandon unchecked and unsupervised. He wrote checks worth tens thousands to unidentified women known only as "the Little Sisters." They probably were not the Little Sisters of Charity and didn't wear habits.

More play money went to Hooters, and swankier eateries like PF Changs and various clothing outlets like Neiman Marcus, in addition to repeated purchases of bracelets that were inscribed with "Lil' Sister" and "Sir William." 

This is sounding more like a cathouse than a house of charity and "Sir William" considered himself the large and in charge Mr. Big Bucks. The indictment alleges Campbell frequently bought expensive gifts for the women and we can only imagine what that might have been 'gratitude' for.

Others were culpable and aided the scheme, but those names have not been released yet. In fact, the original indictment was sealed in May of 2010 and the only reason anyone knows this theft occurred is because of the unsealing of the original indictment by a federal judge, who issued a new one this week. 

All of this was the end result of an IRS Criminal Division and FBI investigation.

Did Riley know about the indictment? It's hard to believe he didn't.

Did he know what Campbell was doing for five years? It's hard to believe he didn't know about that either, but we're not saying he actually did.

What we do think is that the sealing of this indictment was a political power move to not embarrass a sitting governor who was responsible for Mr. Campbell being in a position to pull off this alleged crime.

Now what does that remind us of? Maybe the $635,000 that went into Senator Pittman's and Baldwin County Commissioner James' pockets? Riley was the one responsible for putting Pittman charge of the $1.2 million in BP funds. But that turned out differently than Campbell's tomfoolery--Pittman has thus far escaped any justice for his scheme and the Alabama Ethics Commission refuses to even investigate the matter.

Or many others that have occurred during the last eight years. Riley has commended Ethics Commission director Jim Sumner more than once over the years for "his outstanding service to the state of Alabama."

He really meant 'Jim does what I tell him to do' in our opinions.

There are countless other examples of chicanery during the Riley administration, too many to list here, but there is one overriding theme to all of it--very bad judgement in appointing dishonest honest people in charge of huge amounts of money going to every place under the sun but where it was intended to go.

And here's Governor Dr. Dr. Bentley crying all over the state that "we're broke!"

The problem is that we're worse than "broke."

What we really are is 'broken' from decades of corruption.

Indictment is not a conviction and under the laws of the US, Mr. Campbell is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the government is alleging some very serious misconduct.

**According to court records, Campbell was arrested on April 1, 2011, forced to surrender his passport and posted a Surety Bond of $100,000.00. Attorney of record April 1: Stephen W. Shaw 
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  1. Didn't Glenn spend over two million on an airplane for ADEM? And Riley doled out about $40 million on his way out if I recall.
    It's all play money to these guys. They don't care as long as they get to have their fun and line their own pockets.
    Sir William is in some deep sh*t I would say.
    Charges like this aren't made lightly, especially by the IRS and FBI.

  2. Good grief!!!!
    Check cards a plenty to far too many.
    Way to go Campbell you big crook!

  3. What Larry Langford, Bill Blount and Co. did pales in comparison to this indictment.
    And I don't buy for one minute the authorities don't know all the names, the GJ might not, but rest assured the FBI and IRS know who they are.
    The wheels are in motion to protect some guilty parties and it will be quite interesting to see how this plays out.
    I am equally intrigued by the choice of Shaw as counsel considering his pedigree and close ties to the state government at large.

  4. Somebody is going to hell for sure. Jailhouse first.

  5. Looks to me like the state of Alabama financed a Mack Daddy and his shady ladies.

  6. How the hell did this go on so long unchecked? Did the state department of finance not notice any of this? They sure as hell should have, they were writing the damn checks!!!
    Where was this in the transparency of Alabama's checkbook that "allows citizens to see where Alabama's money is spent" Mr. Riley?
    This is way beyond reprehensible!
    Where's the outrage?????????

  7. I can't wait to hear what the "inflated salaries" were.
    What a helluva pull-off this flim-flam man pulled off right under everybody's noses.
    No accounting or were they cooking the books?

  8. Last time I checked it does not usually take a whole year to arrest someone. I'm just sayin'.
    I think you're right Max, this looks like a political convenience and favor from on high to me.
    So they leave the guy there until August of 2010 so he can have a little bit longer of a party? Maybe let the bookkeeper and other culprits cover their tracks before the stuff hits the fan? Make sure Riley is long gone from office too?
    Wonder how much money was plundered between March 2010 and August 2010?
    To heck with a trial bury these dirty sobs!

  9. Would love to hear Riley's statement on this pillar of morality he put in charge of so much money. Of course he'll lie and act like he knew nothing about Campbell's dirty deeds.
    He had to know about the indictment. I am certain many knew about this and were hoping the people of Alabama did not.
    Too late! Cats, or should I say cathouse, is out of the bag now.

  10. This guy is married isn't he?
    What's the wifey have to say? She okay with a philandering, thieving husband?

  11. Unfreakin' believable!!!!
    JAIL! NOW!

  12. More Riley era sleaze to shame Alabama.
    This state has a permanent black eye thanks to the politicians and state thieves that make a career out of office. I don't trust any of them no matter what party they are with, they are all liars and morally bankrupt no goods looking to get rich for life on the backs of the people.

  13. Some days you just have to wonder if anything will ever change in Alabama besides money from one dirty, grubby crooked hand to another.
    It's something all the time these days.

  14. I don't mean to be flippant, well maybe just a little, but this dude looks like a redneck Soprano doesn't he?

  15. Jacksonville State is on defense:

    Bill Fielding, dean of JSU’s College of Commerce and Business, said the Legislature selected a subset of the college of business, the Center for Economic Development, to receive the money from the state and pass it on to both the consortium and the institute. The university had “no supervisory authority” over the funds and received them only through a line item budgeted for the school by the Legislature, according to university officials.

    It was not immediately clear Friday why the university had been selected to receive the funds. An accounting discrepancy linked to the institute surfaced last year in an audit by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.

    And from a Dec 10 article:
    The original article of incorporation lists Bill Fielding as a member of the Alabama Small Business Institute’s board. Fielding, the dean of JSU’s business college, said Monday that he was aware the document lists him as a member, but denied ever accepting the position.

    An audit completed by the state Department of Examiners of Public Accounts states Fielding signed a federally-funded contract with the small business institute “on behalf of Jacksonville State University.” The document states that fielding was serving as both the dean of the business college and as a board member of the institute when he signed the $95,600 contract in 2005.

    It also states that in doing so, Fielding failed to comply with a federal regulation designed to prevent “an employee, officer, or agent” from selecting, awarding or administering contracts funded federally. On Monday Fielding said, citing the earlier reference that he never actually served on the board, that the finding is wrong.

    Read more: Anniston Star - FBI mum on possible probe into JSU connected nonprofit

    Riley knew alright.

  16. I personally do not understand why we mix so many other items with the education fund. Unless it is because it's a spigot of federal money coming from so many different sources that misappropriating funds is fairly easy.
    Maybe I just answered my own wondering.

  17. The consortium's website said member schools include Alabama A & M University; Alabama State University; Auburn University; Jacksonville State University; Troy University; the University of Alabama; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; the University of North Alabama, the University of South Alabama; and the University of West Alabama.

    Campbell has caused problems for each one of these institutions by doing this. He should be confined under the jail, no sunshine piped in!!!!!

  18. Excellent Blog. Thank you. How many other secret indictments, investigations, etc. connected to Riley are behind lock and key? Too many to count. I hope to see Riley exposed. There sure have been obvious effort to keep his criminal activity out of the mainstream media. I will pass this article out to many. Again, thank you.

  19. ANON--

    Appreciate that.


  20. This is a lot to process. On the one hand, looks like someone is going down the river to the big house. On the other hand that $100K bond is staring me in the face, it won't leave me alone. It's saying Great Big Dollar Crimes, Little Bitty Guarantee to hang around for a date with the judge, the prosecutors and the gang. Not nearly enough bond money for 7.3 million. Looks like a bad sign.

    Then scroll down to the end of the indictment.
    Those two little words 'True Bill' do not match up with the $100K bond and a 7.3 million dollar state funded shopping spree.

    Something here does not pass the smell test.

    Great work Max. This is one for the record books, no doubt.

  21. Only one indictment?
    Almost a whole year to arrest? And only one arrest?
    Sealing an indictment with theft of this magnitude?
    Clearly there were many involved in this ponzi scheme.
    Madoff would be so proud.
    Wonder how much Riley made off this deal and many others we don't know about......

  22. Great points Skinny. Those names in the sealed
    indictment must be some doozies.

    The inter-connections of a scheme like this could not be arranged by a moron like Campbell.

    Surely he didn't think Riley was going to serve one more term and cover him until they could figure out the (safe) escape.

    Maybe he didn't know his job (hahaha) was not permanent, as in for the rest of his life.


  23. Maybe we can get him a permanent job being Langford's Honey Bun boy.

  24. I was wondering how the feds were controlling themselves from laughing. The grand jury, too.

    You all know they were busting a gut over the way this read.

    It is funny.

  25. Annette in Alabama------April 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    I think Economic Development and Educational Programs in Alabama is code talk for "Get the Free Money out of the State Finance Department and Get All You Can!"

    Or something like that.

  26. I wish I could hear Bob Riley say "It's going to be exciting to watch" just one more time and when he says it one more time - we all know what he's talking about this time.

  27. I am one of the ones you might call a "little sister", and let me say that although it may seem like the girls that received money from Mr. Campbell were sketchy, we were just as clueless as everyone else in the beginning. "Sir William" basically preyed on young women in college or freshly out and pretended to want to help you out financially to get started in your career. After about three encounters with this man (and three checks), I realized I no longer wanted any involvement with him because I sensed something fishy was up. The people surrounding Mr. Campbell were people I trusted and didn't think would get me involved with something illegitimate. I knew several of the other "little sisters", and their participation was basically identical to mine. So just to clear our reputation, we could almost be considered victims. You know what it means when you ass-u-me....

  28. ANON "Little Sister"--

    We can understand your predicament and appreciate your input. Many a young thing (male and female) have become 'sport' for men with power in Alabama.

    None of you are on trial and that says something.

    We would love to know who else was involved with this, on the power levels, that the court has yet to name.


  29. Annette in AlabamaOctober 22, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    This is in response to the "Little Sister" post:
    Most often those who appear to want to help out pretty young women want to 'help' themselves more.

    As far as the assuming, the kind of experience you would need in order not to be lured into some sinister plot comes much later in life. Don't beat yourself up. You are not almost considered a victim, you are a victim.

    And if there is anything we can do to help, that is those of us who comment and contribute to this blog, an invitation is hereby extended to you and any of the others who were victimized by this man.

    Thank you for your comment and contribution and hopefully more people will recognize the courage it took for you to write here and also realize the importance your information adds to this story. Coming forward is empowering.

    Thank you.

  30. Tell us what you know little sister!
    Should be fascinating!

  31. When is "Sir William" going to court? Will the public know ANYTHING about the outcome?

  32. ANON--

    Jury instructions have been issued and filed on Nov. 2 according to US District Court (Northern district) records.

    No hearing or trial date is given.


  33. Where are the proceedings being held? I wanted to attend! Why are jury instructions given BEFORE
    the trial? Thanks so much for you information!

  34. ANON--

    It's not unusual for a jury to receive instructions before trial, but you can read up on that through Wiki: "Jury Instructions."

    As for the location of the trial, it's in the Alabama US Northern District Court region that covers 3 cities:
    There are central (Birmingham), eastern (Anniston & Gadsden) and western (Tuscaloosa) divisions still under the ND region.
    Call the ND and inquire where this particular trial is being held, if it's public, etc.

    We're sure others would be interested in what you find out and how your inquiry goes. What we are primarily watching are the case proceedings.


  35. Hey Max someone is paying attention to the case or at least I hope he is. John Archiobald included this snippet in his column on November 10:
    "That's old school corruption. At least that's what the evidence shows so far.

    According to the feds, Maurice "Sir William" Campbell Jr., former head of the Alabama Small Business Development Consortium, bilked the state of $7.3 million. It's an astronomical amount -- 30 times what former Mayor Langford was convicted of taking in bribes during his stint at Jefferson County.

    And that's not the half of it. Prosecutors have paraded a string of young women through the courtroom, women who were paid by Campbell, as one described it, to be "eye candy."

    The case, so far, has been plump with PG13 salaciousness, with girls in sexy Santa suits, claims of sexual harassment, mysterious photos and all that money. Not only that, but it appears to be the first big public corruption ring prosecuted in the Northern District of Alabama since Joyce Vance took over as U.S. Attorney."

  36. A Birmingham News reporter gives updates on the trial, which started Monday, in Birmingham. You can find it on al.com. Can't wait to find out WHERE IS the money. (Hugo Black Building)

  37. people keep talking about the "little sisters" like they new what he was doing but the truth is most of those young women under the age of 20 thought he was a rich/ perverted man not that he was stealing money. it is sad to see people who take advantage others esp. when it comes from an organization that is suppose to be helping school.


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