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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

LYNCHBURG MAYOR CHARGED: UPDATE

Copy of the indictment can be found here.


NEWS RELEASE

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA


December 7, 2005

LYNCHBURG MAYOR CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY RECIPIENTS AND A CHARTABLE ORGANIZATION, MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO FEDERAL OFFICIALS AND BANK REPRESENTATIVES, AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

United States Attorney John L. Brownlee announced today that Carl B. Hutcherson, Jr., age 61, of Lynchburg, Virginia, was indicted by a federal Grand Jury sitting in Roanoke, Virginia.


The Grand Jury has charged Mr. Hutcherson, the Mayor of Lynchburg, Virginia, in a seven count indictment with defrauding two Social Security disability recipients, defrauding a charitable organization (The Trinity New Life Community Development Corporation), making false statements to bank officials and federal law enforcement officials, and obstructing a federal investigation by providing false information to a federal Grand Jury.


"This case demonstrates that no one is above the law. Carl Hutcherson stole money from his own charity and two of our community's most vulnerable citizens," said United States Attorney John Brownlee. "Mayor Hutcherson abused the public's trust and attempted to hide his criminal actions by lying to bank officials and submitting false information to a federal Grand Jury."


The Grand Jury has alleged in the Indictment that Mr. Hutcherson and Hutcherson Funeral Home, Inc. became mired in financial difficulties, and, among other things, failed to make required payments to the Internal Revenue Service in an amount in excess of $100,000, failed to maintain balances in banking accounts, failed to make required payments to the City of Lynchburg, Virginia, and failed to meet other financial obligations.


In response to his financial problems, the Grand Jury has alleged that Mr. Hutcherson committed a series of criminal acts in an effort to obtain money. Specifically, the Grand Jury has charged that Mr. Hutcherson, as the representative payee for two Social Security disability recipients for whom Mr. Hutcherson managed their financial affairs, used their Social Security benefits for his own personal use. The Grand Jury has charged that Mr. Hutcherson used the victims' money and made cash payments to himself, purchased a television for himself, purchased a stereo for himself, purchased a mattress for another person, made a payment to an associate and purchased life insurance policies payable on the demise of Victim One with the beneficiary being Carl Hutcherson.


The Grand Jury has also charged Mr. Hutcherson with defrauding a charitable organization, the Trinity New Life Community Development Corporation. Mr. Hutcherson was the Chairperson, Director and Registered Agent of Trinity New Life Community Development Corporation. The charitable organization was established, in part, to serve as an advocate for the needy and underprivileged persons and to exclusively involve itself for charitable and educational purposes. The Articles of Incorporation mandated that "[n]o part of the property or net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of or to be distributable to the Corporation's directors, officers or any private persons." The Grand Jury has charged Mr. Hutcherson with stealing $31,500 from Trinity New Life Community Development Corporation and using the stolen funds to pay off a personal debt and to pay a portion of his delinquent federal taxes.


Finally, the Grand Jury has charged that Mr. Hutcherson, after being confronted with evdience that he stole money from his charity, provided false information to officials of the Bank of the James, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the federal Grand Jury.


If convicted on all counts, the maximum penalty faced by Mr. Hutcherson is 105 years in prison and/or a fine of $2.5 million.


The investigation of the case was conducted by Special Agent Carl Bond for the Virginia State Police; Special Agent Christian Pettyjohn for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Resident Agent in Charge Rob Childress for the Social Security Administration. Criminal Chief Thomas J. Bondurant, Jr. and Assistant United States Attorney Bill Gould will prosecute the case.


A Grand Jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trail with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

2 Comments:

At 7:05 AM, Anonymous George Samuel Kirk said...

Whether you like him or not, whether you think he is guilty or not, he should do the honorable thing and resign his position as Mayor. At this point guilt is irrelevant, it is about perception and image and he presents a negative image of the city.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The $22,000 noted in item 14 on page 5 of the indictment might be from the proceeds of fund raising that allegedly occurred within the minority community. Such was said to have occurred once the investigation began in order to help the Mayor pay his legal expenses. A former member of city council is said to have headed up that fund raising effort.

 

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