Former recycling manager at the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), Jarrell Lamar Reynolds, was sentenced today after pleading guilty on Nov. 30, 2022, to racketeering in connection with selling a half million dollars' worth of recyclables through a shell company he owned.
Judge John F. Simon of the First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, adjudicated Jarrell Reynolds guilty of one count of racketeering, a first-degree felony. Mr. Reynolds was sentenced to seven years in state prison, with credit for 31 days’ time served, plus three years' probation, and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $510,685.06 to ECUA. Mr. Reynolds was remanded into court custody immediately.
The ECUA hired Jarrell Lamar Reynolds in September 2018 to manage the recycling operation at the Perdido Landfill, but his time at the helm of the MRF was short-lived at just over four months. ECUA Executive Director, Bruce Woody said, “Today’s sentencing hearing concluded the hard work of ECUA staff and the State Attorney’s office to bring Mr. Reynolds to justice. ECUA Finance Director, Justin Smith, identified a decrease in revenue from the sales of recycling materials within two months of Mr. Reynold’s hiring and quickly conducted an internal audit that resulted in the filing of a criminal report with the Economic Crimes Division of the Escambia County Sheriff’s office. The State Attorney’s office then filed charges that lead to today’s adjudication of guilt on one count of racketeering.”
Woody added, “Although the ECUA and its ratepayers were protected from financial harm by insurance designed to protect the public’s assets against losses, this conviction was important to demonstrate that checks and balances are in place to discover misappropriation of funds, and this conviction will further deter such activity. My thanks to ECUA’s Justin Smith and Assistant State Attorney, Paul Gillespie, for their work in bringing Mr. Reynolds to justice.”
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