California Department of Justice (DOJ) special agents arrested Elk Grove business owner, Eric Blaine Hodgson, 43, on 22 counts of grand theft, today. Hodgson is the owner of Phenix Print & Image and is accused of defrauding Caltrans of $1.9 million dollars by billing Caltrans for work that was never done. Caltrans hired Phenix Print & Image to advertise new construction contracts to bidders, as required by law, but the information never made it to publication.
Special agents discovered Hodgson used false and fraudulent documentation to pull off the grand theft scheme starting back in 2008. Reports are Hodgson used the money to pay off a mortgage, to buy toys and comics and to pay for exotic trips for him and his company staff.
"As so many people have struggled in the weak economy, this is shameful," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). CSLEA represents DOJ special agents along with nearly 7,000 other law enforcement, public safety and consumer protection professionals who work for the state of California. "The special agents investigated, got an arrest warrant, and based on their work, the Attorney General has said she will 'aggressively prosecute this case and seek to recover every dollar of the public's money that was misused.'"
Hodgson was booked in the Sacramento County Jail shortly after 10:00 a.m. this morning, according to the jail's website.