Jackson, TN – After a two-week trial in federal court, on Friday, June 15, 2018, Brian Black, 42, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, was convicted of embezzlement. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty verdict today.
According to information presented in court, Black embezzled at least $178,000 from the trust account of Oleen H. Fewell Estate. Black was the Chancery Court appointed trustee for the trust, which had been set up by the will of Oleen Fewell for benefit of her daughter, Sharon Connor of Alamo, Tennessee. Instead of using the trust’s money for the benefit only of Sharon Connor, Black spent a large part of the trust’s funds for his own personal benefit. Among other things, Black wrote over $70,000 in trust checks directly to himself, spent almost $6,000 of trust money to take a vacation trip to Florida to attend the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team fantasy camp, and used over $12,000 of trust money to buy items for his own home in Dyersburg.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "This office is committed to exposing and holding accountable any persons who use their position of trust and authority to prey upon innocent victims. Across the rural communities of the Western District of Tennessee, including Crockett County, we will always aggressively prosecute cases involving financial fraud and exploitation of the elderly. We are pleased with the jury verdict in this case, and commend the United States Postal Inspection Service for their outstanding investigation in this complex matter."
David M. McGinnis, the Inspector In Charge of the Charlotte Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, stated "Protecting vulnerable victims is a top priority for the Postal Inspection Service. Postal Inspectors are committed to protecting the sanctity of the United States Mail and will hold those accountable that steal from innocent victims."
By the time United States Postal Inspectors learned of the fraud and began an investigation, Black had spent all of the money in the trust account. Black was the former 911 director for Crockett County.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 18, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson. Black faces a possible maximum sentence of 90 years imprisonment.
The United States Postal Inspection Service investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Arvin is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.