New Indictments Returned Against Two Sundquist Friends - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Friends in High Places

New Indictments Returned Against Two Sundquist Friends

(Story created: 2/23/05)

New indictments were returned Wednesday against two of former Gov. Don Sundquist's closest friends. It's the latest round of charges from our Friends in High Places investigation.

The indictments were returned in a flurry of activity late Wednesday afternoon by federal grand juries in Nashville and in Chattanooga.

One indictment out of Chattanooga charges John Stamps, a longtime Sundquist friend from Monteagle, with four counts of tax evasion. 

It claims he intentionally underestimated his income on tax returns for 1998 to 2001.

An indictment out of Nashville charges him with making false statements about a no-bid contract from the Sundquist administration. 

It says he made the false statements in a memo to convince the state to extend the contract to a company called Workforce Strategists.

In addition, another Sundquist friend, Al Ganier, was re-indicted by the federal grand jury here in Nashville.  He already was facing two counts of obstruction of justice.

On Wednesday, the grand jury added two more counts as a result of new evidence uncovered by investigators. 

It claims he attempted to delete computer files relating to contracts his company received from the Sundquist administration.

NewsChannel 5 has learned the indictments come a day after another prominent Sundquist administration official appeared before the federal grand jury here in Nashville.

An attorney for former deputy governor Alex Fischer confirmed that he testified before the panel investigating the state contracts, she says, about both Stamps and Ganier. 

She says he is just a witness, not the target of the investigation.

The investigation involves the FBI, TBI and IRS.

The critical question: what about former Governor Sundquist?  Fischer's attorney claims he doesn't know about any wrongdoing by his former boss.

The charges against Mr. Stamps each carry a possible penalty of five years in federal prison. Ganier faces up to 20 years.

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