A former employee at Naval Health Clinic Charleston is accused of steering federal money to a technology company that secretly paid him and his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than a decade.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in South Carolina charged Clinton "Bo" Knight and wife Kathryn Knight with wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
An indictment released this week alleges the couple intentionally concealed their involvement with TCMC LLC, a company that was paid as a contractor and subcontractor at the Naval Health Clinic.
At the same time, the federal prosecutors allege the couple profited off the federal money they helped direct to the South Carolina-based business.
Clinton Knight, who worked as the head of the information management department at the clinic in Goose Creek, was required to disclose any conflicts of interest or other sources of income he had, according to the indictment.
But, from roughly 2004 to 2018, he never notified the federal government of his or his wife's ties to TCMC.
The Post and Courier reached him by phone Wednesday. Knight said he was unaware the charges had been filed against him and denied the allegations in the indictment.
"I'm not going to say anything. I'm not a contractor. So that's definitely not me," he said.
The prosecutors allege he held himself out as a vice president for TCMC and even participated in hiring employees at the business.
Yet, as a federal employee, he took actions to funnel contracts and subcontracts to the information technology company, according to the indictment.
The prosecutors allege his wife was cashing in on the company's profits, even though she didn't perform any work for the company.
From 2011 to 2018, she was allegedly paid at least $238,287 under an account labeled for the "owners" of TCMC. Other checks sent to her were labeled as "profit sharing," according to the indictment.
The Knights weren't the only people involved in the alleged scheme. The indictment also includes charges against Clayton Williams, another person who was employed by TCMC.
It was Williams who allegedly made it possible for Clinton Knight and Kathryn Knight to conceal their financial interests in the company. Williams used his wife's name in 2004 to register TCMC as a woman-owned small business, which gave it special priority in the federal procurement system. A filing with the S.C. Secretary of State listed the company's address as a West Ashley residence that the Williameses owned at the time.
The Knights and Williams met around that same time and came to an agreement that the "future profits of TCMC would be distributed equally" among them.
The alleged deal may come crashing down now. Beyond potential jail time, the alleged business partners could be required to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars.