GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On Mar. 22, 2017, Jimmy Allen Hulse, 56, and Randy Gerald Harkleroad, 49, both of Kingsport, Tenn., were sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge to serve time in federal prison for their roles in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy. Hulse received a prison sentence of 22 months while Harkleroad received 12 months. Both were ordered to complete three years on supervised release, pay restitution of $327,612, and pay $100 special assessments.
Hulse and Harkleroad pleaded guilty to an information charging them with conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. In the plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court, they admitted that over a two-year period, beginning in mid-2013, they submitted 585 false claims to Goodman Manufacturing, a manufacturer of water heaters in Houston, Tex. The false claims generated payments of $310,994 for labor and a loss of $16,618 in parts credit for water heater warranty work that was never performed. Hulse worked for East Coast Metal Distributors, which sold Goodman water heaters and extended warranty plans. Harkleroad was the owner of Point Blank Heating and Air, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor.
Agencies involved in this investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. Helen Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney represented the United States.