News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Aug. 30, 2010

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $500,000 FROM HIS MOTHER’S TRUST FUND

TOPEKA, KAN. –Kent Joseph Gockel, 52, St. Marys, Kan., has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution for stealing more than $500,000 from his mother’s trust fund, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Gockel pleaded guilty to 11 counts of bank fraud. In his plea, Gockel admitted that after his father’s death in 2002 he began taking care of his mother’s finances. Gockel’s father, who owned a grocery store in St. Mary’s, Kan., had established two revokable living trusts to provide for his wife and children.

On July 19, 2008, Gockel’s mother learned that her trust account at Silver Lake Bank was overdrawn. A review of bank statements revealed Gockel had been writing checks to himself or to cash from his mother’s accounts without her knowledge.

On Jan. 7, 2009, his mother learned that another account she had at Kaw Valley State Bank had been almost emptied. A review of the account revealed Gockel had wired money or written checks from the trust accounts totaling more than $500,000. Gockel made wire transfers from his mother’s accounts to Hall of Fame Collectables in Allentown, Penn., BMX Entertainment S.A. San Jose, Costa Rica, and Olympus Entertainment Group, St. John’s Antigua, West Indies.

Gockel stole a total of $584,688 through the bank fraud scheme.

The sentence is consecutive to a 30-month sentence in a prior case in which he was convicted on a federal firearms violation.

Grissom commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough for their work on the case.

 


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