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Press Release

Two Brothers, Owners of Kennedy Industrial Electronics, Sentenced on Conspiracy Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Harold and Hollie Kennedy Each to Serve 12 Months in Federal Prison

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – The two brothers and owners of Kennedy Industrial Electronics, who were convicted of a payroll tax scheme that dated back at least 15 years and for defrauding the United States out of more than $907,000 of disability benefits, in addition to $148,000 in employment taxes, were sentenced last week to 12 months in prison. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced the sentence today.

In July 2019, Harold and Hollie Kenney each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of failing to pay over and collect employment taxes.

According to court documents, the Kennedys conspired with Kennedy Industrial Electronics employees, and their wives, including Danny Hill, Geneva Hill, Gerald Stevens, Teena Charlene Stevens, and Ricky Allen Matney. Danny Hill, Gerald Stevens, and Ricky Matney were each receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration [SSA]. To hide the fact that Hill, Stevens, and Matney were fully capable of working and were, in fact, working, the Kennedys wrote checks payable to the wives of Hill and Stevens and a middle name for Matney.

Court documents also revealed that between 2001 and 2015 the defendants conspired to defraud the United States through a scheme in which Harold and Hollie Kennedy, the owners of Kennedy Industrial Electronics, failed to report to the IRS and SSA over $500,000 in wages resulting in more than $900,000 in disability payments being made that should not have been paid.                                                                                                     

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Russell County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Lena Busscher prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated February 20, 2020