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Press Release

Man Convicted Of Defrauding Elderly Widow Of $1.2 Million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee

NASHVILLE – After a week-long trial, a federal jury this week, convicted Karl Hampton, 65, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, of twelve felony counts related to a scheme to defraud an elderly widow of over one million dollars, announced United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis. 

Hampton and his wife were indicted in 2021 for conspiracy and money laundering and Hampton was also charged with wire and mail fraud. 

At trial, the evidence showed that Hampton met the victim while he was working as an exterminator in her home.  Between 2018 and 2020, Hampton tricked the victim into believing that he would care for her personally and financially.  He held himself out as the victim’s “personal representative,” her “son” or her “godson,” and pretended that he was acting on her behalf.  

In April 2019, Hampton convinced the victim to sign over her Power of Attorney and to name him in her Revocable Living Trust and in her will.  He then methodically drained the victim’s bank accounts, took out a $500,000 line of credit in her name using her property as collateral, and amassed huge charges on her credit cards for his own personal expenses.

In total, Hampton defrauded the victim of approximately $1.2 million.  He used her money to purchase luxury items and often spent over $1,000 per day on lottery tickets.  The defendant’s lavish spending using the victim’s money included purchasing a Lexus GX460, a 4.3-karat diamond ring, and a $170,000 interest in a pest control business.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 11, 2023.  The defendant’s wife pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in February 2023 and will be sentenced on June 16, 2023.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Booth and Brent Hannafan prosecuted the case.

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David Boling

Public Affairs Officer


Updated April 14, 2023

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud