FBI Cincinnati
Public Affairs Specialist Todd Lindgren
(513) 979-8347
May 18, 2015

FBI Announces Arrest of Fugitive Suspect James T. Hammes

Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the Cincinnati Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that James T. Hammes, 53, was arrested in Damascus, Virginia on Saturday, May 16, 2015. A federal arrest warrant was issued on February 24, 2009 by the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, after Hammes was charged with wire fraud and money laundering.

“I want to thank the hard-working special agents and police officers who have been involved with this investigation over the last several years,” stated Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers. “Their persistent work led to the arrest of Mr. Hammes and will allow for the criminal justice process to continue in this case.”

Hammes fled after being interviewed by FBI special agents in February 2009. In May 2009, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Ohio returned a 75-count indictment charging Hammes with wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly embezzling approximately $8,711,282.42 from a Cincinnati-based company between 1998 and February 2009. During this time, Hammes was employed as the controller for the company’s Lexington, Kentucky division and was responsible for all financial accounting and internal controls.

The indictment alleges that Hammes opened an unauthorized vendor bank account, created an illegitimate account payable for the vendor from which checks were disbursed and deposited the payments into the bank account. Hammes is alleged to have then transferred the stolen money into his personal bank and brokerage accounts.

SAC Byers thanked the Richmond Division of the FBI and the Bristol Resident Agency, the United States Marshals Service, the Virginia State Police, the Washington County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office, and the Town of Damascus Police Department for their work in this investigation.

Hammes is currently in custody in Virginia and will be returned to the Southern District of Ohio to face the previous indictments. In 2012 Hammes was featured on the television programs American Greed: The Fugitives and America’s Most Wanted as a fugitive from justice.

The public is reminded that indictments contain only allegations of criminal misconduct and that defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.