Louisville Man Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Defrauding Two Churches and Several Businesses
BOWLING GREEN, KY—A Louisville man who admitted to defrauding two churches and several businesses was sentenced Thursday, by U.S. District Judge Greg N. Stivers, to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $114,018 announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Timothy Ray Hatler, 59, was charged in a federal indictment on April 16, 2014 with three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud and pleaded guilty to the charges on November 14, 2014.
According to the plea agreement, between March 18, 2011 and September 17, 2013, Hatler falsely represented to the public, through websites and Internet postings, that he manufactured and sold light-emitting diode (LED) signs.
Hatler designed a scheme by doing business under various names including SignTech Manufacturing, SkyTech Signs, and Digital View Marketing. Hatler would inform individuals interested in purchasing LED signs that if they provided him with payment by mail or wire, he would provide signs made to their specifications. Hatler opened two bank accounts for the scheme and used a mailbox drop service in Atlanta to forward mail to two Louisville addresses and an address in Scottsville, Kentucky.
On a few occasions, Hatler ordered LED signs from other companies such as Olive LED and Soulphase, shipped the products to his customers, then requested that those customers serve as references for potential future customers. Most customers did not receive the signs they ordered and Hatler admitted to using the money for his personal use and benefit.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory and was investigated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).