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Former ALDI executive and local contractor indicted for fraud

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Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV) - A former Aldi executive and a local general contractor were indicted for federal fraud offenses relating to the construction of Aldi grocery stores in Southern Illinois and Missouri.

Documents show Louis Ross, 62, and Donald Schniers, 71, were accused of conspiring to create the appearance of bidding on Aldi stores. The indictment alleged that the two submitted bids in the names of other regional construction companies higher than C. Juengel Company’s bids, ensuring that they were the lowest bidder on the projects.

The indictment also showed Schniers and Ross allegedly altering a legitimate bid submitted by one local construction company to increase the amount. They also supposedly created and submitted bids for other regional construction companies that had never bid on Aldi projects.

Statement showed that C. Juengel was awarded 12 contracts, valued at over $21M for general contractor services, between March 2016 and May 2017. Because of the lack of competition in the bidding, Aldi allegedly overpaid for the construction and renovation of stores in the O’Fallon, Mo. division.

According to the indictments, Ross received $554,000 in monthly kickbacks from C. Juengel’s bank account. In exchange, Schniers received the receipt of Aldi contracts. Ross also received thousands of dollars in kickbacks from another person for the exclusive right to serve as the civil engineer on all new projects.

Ross and Schniers have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, and four counts of wire fraud. They are scheduled to appear in federal court on June 10, at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Each of the indictments carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison.