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Press Release

Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Homeowners in Three States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud after accepting payments for building projects he never intended to do.

According to court documents, William T. Hurst, 44, of Morehead, Kentucky, admitted he agreed to build pole barns for a pair of residents in Putnam and Jackson counties in March 2021, receiving checks totaling $10,186 as down payments. Hurst admitted he never intended to build either barn, and instead cashed or deposited the checks at area banks for his personal use.

Hurst further admitted to similarly scamming six other property owners in Ona and Lesage, Cabell County; Charleston, Kanawha County; Coolville and Willow Wood, Ohio; and South Shore, Kentucky, all between February 22, 2021, and March 23, 2021. In each instance, Hurst agreed to build a pole barn or other structure but never began any work or bought any needed supplies. These residents together had paid Hurst $25,032, which he kept for himself. Hurst eventually stopped communicating with the victims.

Hurst admitted to receiving a total of $35,218 as a result of his fraudulent representations, and pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 28, 2022, and faces up to 40 years in prison.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation. The Cabell County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Department of Revenue also provided assistance with the investigation.

Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Nowles Heinrich is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-41.




Updated April 21, 2022