Fruit of the Loom Executive Indicted

Six people, including a former Fruit of the Loom executive are indicted on charges of conspiracy to fraud the underwear company.

A federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Ky., returned indictments Sept. 18, 2006, against Kalen Watkins, who was the Environmental Director for the Bowling Green offices, as well as Laura Leigh Wells of Lexington; Kenneth Scott Harris of Euless, Texas; Curtis Hopkins of Corbin, Kentucky; Ronald Pollock also of Bowling Green; and Tryrone Tackett of Pensacola, Florida.

Watkins’ position gave him power to award contracts and approve payment for invoices submitted by Fruit of the Loom contractors.

The indictment alleges that between May 1, 1998, and Sept. 13, 2003, Watkins hired companies owned by his co-conspirators to perform services for Fruit of the Loom and approved fraudulent invoices submitted by those companies. It also states that the five co-conspirators paid Watkins hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in return for Fruit of the Loom business.

Watkins, Hopkins, Pollock and Tackett are also being charged with money laundering. Watkins is also facing charges for obstruction of justice and fabricating documents in response to grand jury subpoena.