Owner of Lighthouse Properties Sentenced to Prison Time for Wire Fraud
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The former owner of Lighthouse Properties of Virginia was sentenced today to 42 months in federal prison in connection with an embezzlement scheme in which he stole more than $550,000.
Timothy Darrell Penick, 39, of Forest, Virginia, pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count of wire fraud.
“This defendant violated the trust of his clients through his fraudulent behavior,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “I am grateful for the work of the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that brought him to justice and will provide the victims in this case with restitution for the crimes committed against them.”
“Mr. Penick implemented exceptional measures to prevent the unraveling of his scheme. Through this joint investigation by the FBI, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office’s in the Western District of Virginia, he is no longer able to defraud clients of their hard-earned money and will be held responsible for his criminal activity,” said Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “ We encourage those who believe they’ve been victimized by a similar scheme to contact law enforcement via https://tips.fbi.gov/.”
According to court documents, Penick owned and operated Lighthouse Properties since 2011 and provided real estate management services to clients, including homeowners’ associations and individual property owners. Beginning in June 2018, Penick devised a scam to defraud multiple clients by gaining direct access to their bank accounts and then transferring their funds into accounts controlled solely by Penick. He used these funds for his personal benefit and enjoyment and completely without authorization by his clients.
To conceal the misuse of client funds, Penick created fraudulent bank account statements that omitted transactions from the client accounts into his accounts and then presented these fake bank statements to clients and their representatives.
The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Baudinet is prosecuting the case.