Brentwood Woman Convicted of Criminal Contempt for Violating Court-Ordered Asset Freeze
Kennan Dozier, 58, of Brentwood, Tenn., pleaded guilty on September 2, 2016, to criminal contempt of court, for violating a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the U.S. District Court, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
In a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell, Dozier admitted her role in violating a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in connection with a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the State of Tennessee in 2010.
The FTC lawsuit included allegations that United Benefits of America, LLC, a company controlled by Dozier’s then-husband, Timothy Thomas, made material misrepresentations during telemarketing calls to consumers seeking health insurance. On August 4, 2010, the U.S. District Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order with Asset Freeze (“Asset Freeze”), which found that there was good cause to believe that the defendants of the lawsuit had engaged in acts that violated certain federal and state laws, and that immediate and irreparable harm could result if certain assets were disposed of. The Asset Freeze specifically prohibited Dozier and Thomas from transferring or disposing of certain funds.
Dozier admitted that, after being served with a copy of the Asset Freeze, she and Thomas approached a mutual friend regarding the fact that their assets had been frozen. This friend was asked to deposit certain checks into her own bank account, and to allow Thomas to use the funds from those checks. Subsequently, this friend deposited several checks into her bank account, including a check payable to Dozier for approximately $129,000, which was derived from United Benefits sales commissions. In addition, Dozier admitted cashing a check for approximately $7,800 after the Asset Freeze had been issued and served.
Dozier is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Campbell on January 6, 2017.Timothy Thomas, 54 of Franklin, Tenn., was charged in the same indictment as Dozier, and faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal contempt. He is scheduled for trial on November 22, 2016. An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt, and Thomas is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William F. Abely and Cecil W. VanDevender.