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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty To Transportation Across State Lines Of Money And Securities Taken By Fraud

Defrauded Monroe County, Kentucky investors of $194,000 in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, development scheme

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. –A Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee man pleaded guilty four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property yesterday, in United States District Court, before United States District Judge, Greg N. Stivers, to defrauding investors of $194,000 as part of a scheme to develop a call center in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman. There is no parole in the federal prison system.  

John Cook, age 57, pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property. According to a plea agreement entered in open court, Cook admitted that in September 2013, he solicited $194,000 in investment funds from four individuals in Monroe County, Kentucky, for the purpose of developing a call center.  In exchange for the investment funds, Cook provided a written promissory note explaining that the money would be used for the call center and described an unrealistic return on investment.   

Cook created Minority Holdings and Management LLC (“Minority Holdings”) in September 2013.    The promissory notes were issued by Cook in the name of Minority Holdings.  Cook also opened a bank account for Minority Holdings at the bank of Putnam County in Tennessee. 

Cook cashed the checks, deposited the checks in the Minority Holdings accounts, or converted checks to cashier’s checks.  Cook used a lot of the investment money to operate the Donoho Hotel located in Red Boiling Springs, TN.  Cook spent a minimal amount of investment funds on call center related expenses.  However a majority of the expenses of the account were used for the Donoho Hotel payroll and for his personal expenditures. There has been little to no development of a call center in Tompkinsville. 

Cook transported and caused to be transported from Kentucky to Tennessee, stolen, converted, and fraudulently obtained checks and monies from investors that he knew he was stealing, converting and taking by fraud at the time. All payments exceeded $5,000.  All payments were solicited in Monroe County in the Western District of Kentucky.  

Cook is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Stivers on July 31, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. CDT in Bowling Green.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Joshua Judd and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated April 24, 2018