A Lee's Summit man has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from a fraud scheme that cost a metro area construction company about $840,000.

John Kirwin, 46, pleaded guilty in Kansas City federal court to one count each of wire and mail fraud, admitting that he received illegal kickbacks while working as an internal recruiter for J.E. Dunn Construction Company from 2013-16.

A co-defendant, Debi Jordan from Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty Aug. 31 to one count of mail fraud.

As a recruiter, Kirwin worked with outside employment agencies to locate and employ personnel for construction projects across the country. If the recruit was hired, Dunn paid a fee to the outside agencies. Kirwin hired three firms, including two owned by Jordan, to locate employees, and as a salaries, non-commission employee his contract prohibited him from receiving any benefits from outside vendors.

In Kirwin's scheme, he submitted fraudulent invoices to Dunn from recruitment companies – invoices that included inflated amount or referenced employees Dunn never hired. When Dunn paid the companies, proceeds from the fraudulent invoices were divided with Kirwin.

Government officials believe Dunn lost about $840,000.

Under the plea agreement, Kirwin must forfeit to the government any proceeds he received – at least $414,00 – as well as restitution to Dunn in an amount to be determined. Kirwin faces up to 40 years in federal prison without parole.

Jordan must pay $348,450 to Dunn and $158,733 to the government. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

They will be sentenced at a later date.