United States Attorney David Capp

Northern District of Indiana

M01-204 S. Main Street

South Bend, Indiana  46601

Hammond                                                      South Bend                                           Fort Wayne

 
 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton

June 22, 2012                                                                                      PHONE: (219) 937-5500

www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/                                                                   Fax: (219) 852-2770                                                  

           

 

WEEK IN REVIEW – SOUTH BEND

 

 

                South Bend, Indiana -- The United States Attorney’s Office announced that:

 

PLEAS:

 

  Ø   Thomas Kouttoulas, 53, of Laporte, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein to the felony offense of wire fraud.  Magistrate Nuechterlein  is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea.  Parties have 10 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation.  Sentencing has been set for 9/20/12.  These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

  Ø   Jeffrey Allan Sheppard, 20, of South Bend, Indiana, a defendant in the case US v Thomas et al., pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein to the felony offense of carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence.  Magistrate Nuechterlein is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea.  Parties have 10 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation.  Sentencing has been set for 9/28/12.  These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Bend Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

 

DISPOSITIONS:

 

  Ø   Sean Eagan, 50, of Granger, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 6 months imprisonment, 1 year of supervised release and $13,052.24 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of theft or embezzlement from an employee healthcare benefit plan.  In his plea agreement, Eagan admitted that he willfully misapplied the funds or premiums of a health care benefit program in that he failed to pay insurance premiums that had been withheld from the paychecks of employees of Allegra Print and Imaging.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesse Barrett.

 

  Ø   Brandon Birchmeier, 31, of Plymouth, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 51 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Plymouth Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

  Ø   Robert Wegner, Jr., 45, of Mishawaka, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Jon DeGuilio to 60 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

  Ø   George Wedow, 33, of Michigan City, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Jon DeGuilio to 27 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of buying, selling delivering or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture.  In his plea agreement, Wedow admitted that between February and August 2011, he used two homes in the Northern District of Indiana to house and train dogs he knew would be used in animal fighting contests.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.