News and Press Releases

Notice of Hearing
Paul Mitchael (Joe) Gibson, et al.

September 17, 2012

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Greenville, SC ------United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Paul Michael (Joe) Gibson, along with nine (9) co-defendants are scheduled for an Initial Appearance and Arraignment at 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, September 27, 2012, at the Clement Haynesworth Federal Building and Courthouse located in Greenville, South Carolina.  Mr. Nettles advised that issues of bond, attorney representation and scheduling will be discussed at the hearing.

Gibson, age 56, of Spartanburg, S.C. was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on September 12, 2012 along with the following individuals:

Billy John Mills

Age:  44 of Huntersville, North Carolina

Lewis Jones Harward, Jr.

Age:  40 of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Richard James Harward

Age:  38 of Belton, South Carolina

Joshua Manuel Maldonado

Age:  24 of Anderson, South Carolina

Lennie Wylie Sanders

Age:  31 of Danville, Virginia

Wanda Suzette Smith

Age:  58 of Fountain Inn, South Carolina

Kathy Valentine Stewart

Age:  59 of Easley, South Carolina

Brian J. Sullivan

Age:  55 of Lawrenceville, Georgia

Jillian Ventrello

Age:  38 of Huntersville, North Carolina

Mr. Nettles stated that the Indictment contains three (3) counts, each count charging Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.  Each count carries a penalty of up to twenty (20) years incarceration.  Each Defendant is named in all counts, except Sullivan who is named only in Count Three.  Mr. Nettles further advised that Count One of the Indictment deals with allegations of false advertising; Count Two deals with allegation of false information to finance companies; and Count Three deals with allegations of false statements to American Suzuki, Inc.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service with valuable assistance from the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office, Spartanburg City Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Mauldin Police Department, Simpsonville Police Department, the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.   Assistant United States Attorney David C. Stephens of Greenville will be prosecuting the case.

The United States Attorney stated that all charges in these Indictments are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.        

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