News and Press Releases

Former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth Sentenced To 41 Months In Prison For Embezzling And Laundering Over $198,000 From The Crusade For Children And The McMahan Fire Protection District

– Barth ordered restitution of $190,000 to the Crusade for Children

November 19, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Former McMahan Fire Chief, Paul Barth, was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn, II to 41 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay the Crusade for Children $190,000 announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Today’s sentencing follows the June 21, 2012 guilty plea by Barth, 55, of Louisville, Kentucky to one count of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and 12 counts of money laundering for defrauding the public, the McMahan Fire Protection District (MFPD) and the WHAS Crusade for Children of $198,277.

Barth was ordered by Judge Heyburn to pay the Crusade for Children $190,000 in restitution, and $8,277 to the MFPD. Barth has until close of business Wednesday to pay the order or enter into a mortgage agreement with the United States in the amount of the restitution. During sentencing, the United States agreed that a sentence of 41 months in a federal prison was the appropriate disposition of this case. There is no parole in the federal system. The United States agreed to dismiss Count 3 of the superseding indictment.

United States Attorney David J. Hale stated, “As a fire chief and chairman of the Crusade for Children, Paul Barth occupied important positions of trust within our community. But instead of safeguarding the money collected by the fire department for the Crusade for Children, he stole it and used it for his own personal benefit. Barth will spend 41 months in federal prison and has been ordered to pay back the nearly $200,000 he stole.”

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge, Paul R. Johnson, stated: “Today’s sentencing underscores the commitment the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force has to protecting the financial integrity of important community assets, to insuring that victims of financial crimes are made whole, and to working to hold criminals to account for their misdeeds. Paul Barth was a fire chief who abused his position and stole funds from a children’s charity and today’s sentencing is the happy ending to a sad story. Our local and state law enforcement partners, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are all to be commended for their efforts in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”

According to the investigation, from January 2001, through November 2009, Barth, while employed as the Chief of the McMahan Fire Protection District, defrauded the MFPD, and the WHAS Crusade for Children by taking for his own personal benefit and use, money donated to the Crusade through the MFPD. During the course of the scheme Barth caused approximately $218,995 to be deposited into a bank account that he solely controlled in the name of the Crusade. He then used the majority of these funds for his own benefit, including the payment of personal expenses that included Disney World vacations, Corvette Club expenses, and for payments to MFPD to cover funds that he fraudulently obtained from MFPD.

Between July 2002 through March 2009, Barth defrauded the MFPD by causing 13 additional paychecks totaling $36,645.89, payable to him, knowing that he was not entitled to the payments.

Between November 2007 through June 2009 Barth defrauded MFPD by fraudulently using a MFPD credit card to make personal purchase totaling $36,281.79. For example, on April 14, 2009, Barth used the MFPD credit card to pay $10,886.68 in vehicle property taxes to the Jefferson County Clerk, which caused an interstate wire communication between Louisville, Kentucky, and Addison, Texas.

Between May 2005 through November 2009, Barth knowingly laundered and concealed the proceeds of the money that he embezzled including 11 specific cash transactions over $10,000.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Weiser and Bryan Calhoun. It was investigated by the United States Secret Service - Kentucky Electronic Crimes Task Force, which includes the University of Louisville Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

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