Owensboro Man Charged in Second Home Improvement Scam Charged with Defrauding Union County Couple of Nearly $150,000
OWENSBORO, KY—An Owensboro, Kentucky man is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service following his arrest May 9 for devising a scheme to defraud a Union County, Kentucky couple of nearly $150,000 in a home improvement scam announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. Robert K. Gray was awaiting sentencing in a similar case in which he had pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with defrauding over $200,000 from an elderly Daviess County, Kentucky couple and agreed to pay $220,000 restitution.
Defendant Gray, age 49, was charged in a 14-count federal grand jury indictment this week with two counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of structuring financial transactions in order to evade federal reporting requirements.
According to the indictment, between January 17, 2014 and April 14, 2014, Gray was paid a total of $149,839 for work on the home of a Union County, Kentucky couple. Payment was made in the form of 24 checks drawn on their personal checking account at Old National Bank. It is alleged that defendant Gray never completed any of the home improvement projects he’d undertaken to perform. Further, Gray is charged with requesting payments be made in amounts under $10,000 and then cashing each of the checks at different branches of a financial institution in order to avoid the bank’s requirement to report currency transactions over $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. According to the indictment, between February 16, 2014 and February 27, 2014, in Daviess, Union, Henderson, and Hopkins Counties, defendant Gray knowingly and for the purposes of evading reporting requirements cashed checks, drawn on an Old National Bank account, in amounts less than $10,000.
If convicted at trial, Gray faces a combined term of not more than 100 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of up to five years.
In a separate case, in February 2014, Gray admitted to defrauding an elderly Daviess County couple of their retirement fund by making material misrepresentations about an investment opportunity in the defendant’s construction company. Defendant Gray also made home improvements to the couple’s residence in excess of $300,000, an amount that is more than double the assessed value of the property.
Gray admitted to using investment funds he received from the victim to pay for personal expenses and to purchase vehicles, including a 2006 Hummer for $25,000 the day after Gray received and deposited the first investment check and, approximately two weeks later, to purchase a 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle for $5,000. Gray is scheduled for sentencing before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on June 26, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Owensboro.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.