Former Hanover CEO Sentenced In $18 Million Ponzi Scheme
Trio Bilked More Than 125 Investors
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – August 15, 2014 - Terry Kretz, 61, of Gallatin, Tenn. and the former CEO of Hanover Corporation, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell to 168 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for orchestrating an $18 million Ponzi scheme, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Judge Campbell also ordered Kretz to pay $14,784,983.75 in restititution.
Kretz was indicted on November 4, 2009 and pleaded guilty on January 31, 2014, to securities fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.
“Those who prey on the investing public can rest assured that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will mount an exhaustive and thorough prosecution to ensure that justice is served,” said U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “After convictions are obtained, we will be equally aggressive during the penalty phase and seek appropriate punishment on behalf of those who suffer financial distress as a result of the fraud.”
According to court documents, Kretz carried out the scheme along with two other defendants, both of whom have also pleaded guilty: Daryl Bornstein, 55, a Hanover salesman from Kingston Springs, Tenn. and Robert Haley, 55, Hanover’s chief financial officer and a Lebanon, Tenn. resident.
The fraudulent scheme was carried out from January 2004 through August 2006. During that period, Kretz offered clients the opportunity to invest in Hanover through promissory notes bearing high interest rates. Through representations in the promissory notes, as well as his own discussions with investors, Kretz told clients that their money would be used for specific purposes, such as investing in stock options and startup companies. In fact, as Kretz knew, more than half the money invested in Hanover went to repay earlier investors, to pay Hanover’s salaries and overhead, or to benefit him or other defendants personally. Such personal benefits included the purchase of a $600,000 residential building lot in the name of Kretz personally, contributing more than $176,000 to a church, and paying for golf memberships.
Kretz and Bornstein also issued Hanover promissory notes to reimburse individuals who had previously lost money investing in ventures recommended by Bornstein before he joined Hanover. In some cases, these old investors contributed new money to Hanover, while in other cases, they invested nothing. In both cases, money from new investors in Hanover was used to make payments on promissory notes issued to cover non-Hanover losses without the Hanover investors’ knowledge.
Bornstein and Haley are scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, 2014.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scarlett S. Nokes of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Justin Goodyear of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.