'You failed.' Former Kentucky county official sentenced in federal fraud case




  • In US
  • 2022-09-28 11:05:34Z
  • By Lexington Herald-Leader
 

A former Kentucky prosecutor who sought one of the state's highest offices before being accused of involvement in more than $600,000 in fraudulent payments has been sentenced to three years and six months in federal prison.

Michael T. Hogan, who was county attorney in Lawrence County more than 19 years, will also owe restitution. The amount has not been determined.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Hogan, 53, on Tuesday in federal court in Frankfort, ordering him to report to prison on Dec. 6.

Hogan admitted he overbilled the state for work to collect child support and directed his wife to write extra checks to herself from an account for delinquent property-tax collections.

Van Tatenhove put Hogan's case in the context of a troubling cynicism about public officials in the country, asking who people could count on to respect the law if not the local prosecutor.

"The community needed you to do the right thing," Van Tatenhove said. "You failed."

Michael Hogan and his wife, Joy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and he pleaded guilty to an additional charge of theft from a government program.

Van Tatehove sentenced Joy Hogan to one year and one day in prison, directing her to report to prison Jan. 3.

Michael Hogan took office as county attorney in 2003. His guilty plea last March required him to resign, and he said in court he has been disbarred.

Hogan also ran for lieutenant governor in the May 2019 Republican primary with then-state Rep. Robert Goforth at the top of the ticket.

The federal case against Hogan was rooted in a state audit released in May 2020 that said Hogan had given improper bonuses to employees.

The subsequent federal investigation showed Hogan and his wife set up an account to receive delinquent tax payments, using their home address, and wrote dozens of checks from the account to Joy Hogan over several years.

Federal authorities charged that the couple used the money for mortgage and car payments, credit card bills and other expenses.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate K. Smith, said in a sentencing memorandum that the the improper payments from the tax account totaled at least $379,458.

Mike Hogan also overbilled the taxpayer-supported program to collect child support by at least $232,127, for a total loss from the two schemes of $611,585, the memo said.

Defense attorneys argued that loss calculation was too high because work the Hogans did entitled them to at least some of the money the government included as improper payments.

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