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Former real estate exec to plead guilty to wire fraud

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A former executive of two once-prominent area home-building firms has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than $440,000 from the companies.

Kim Hutchinson, 51, of Plainfield entered her plea in federal court in Indianapolis on Thursday, the day before the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it had charged her with wire fraud following an FBI investigation.

Hutchinson is the former treasurer of Greenwood-based J. Greg Allen Builders and Princeton Homes, both of which were operated by developer J. Greg Allen. He also owns a commercial real estate firm that developed downtown’s Allen Plaza.

IBJ reported in June that the two homebuilding businesses closed early this year after Allen filed suit against Hutchinson and Jeff West, the former president of the companies, in Johnson Superior Court in February.

The lawsuit claims West and Hutchinson stole nearly $1 million by co-mingling company funds and concealing unauthorized payments to themselves by claiming the payments were going to vendors. The suit against West is ongoing, Allen said Tuesday morning.

West denies having any role in the scheme and filed a counterclaim in April, asking a judge to enforce a verbal settlement agreement he claims he reached with Allen in 2010 after leaving the company to start his own home-building business.

Allen said Tuesday that he's not surprised by the charges against Hutchinson.

"I'm saddened for Kim and her family," he said. "I wish she would have never did what she did."

According to federal prosecutors, Hutchinson wrote a series of unauthorized checks to herself from Allen's bank accounts totaling $446,419.29 from 2002 through March 2010.

Hutchinson then used her knowledge of accounting methods to hide the checks from her employer.

“Half a million dollars is a lot of money to steal from someone to whom you owe some duty of loyalty as an employee,” U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said in a prepared statement. “We believe Hutchinson violated that duty and will now face the consequences.”

Hutchinson faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but it's unlikely she’ll receive that strict of a sentence. Prosecutors said in the plea agreement that they’ll recommend a lower sentence because Hutchinson cooperated with authorities and has accepted responsibility for her conduct.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office told IBJ on Tuesday that a sentence of between 30 and 40 months would be more appropriate.

Hutchinson’s attorney, Brian Newcomb of Franklin, agreed.

“She has no criminal history and she has cooperated with the government, which is why the recommendation is at the low end of the guidelines,” Newcomb said.

Hutchinson agreed to plead guilty because she’s “just trying to do the right thing” and she’s “not making any excuses,” he said.

Newcomb also said Hutchinson will repay a “significant portion” of her restitution—the entire amount of the stolen funds—prior to sentencing.

A sentencing date has not been set.

 

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  • Arrested in Johnson County, Indiana?
    Getting arrested in Johnson County, Indiana is not fun for any one. I wonder if Miss Hutchinson needed to get a bail bondsman. Not sure if is true or not but I heard that Johnson County could be going to cash bonds? Cash Bonds? With a half million stolen and facing 20 years in prison... Is it possible she would skip bail? If so who would go after her? Nobody to my understanding if Johnson County goes to cash bonds. Luckily for now, Johnson County is still using bail bondsman. If you know someone that has been arrested in Johnson County, here is a local bail bondsman I know that could help you out. http://www.bailbondsjohnsoncounty.com Or give him a call at 317-888-3500.
  • Restitution??
    If Mr. Allen recovers his money will he pay his subcontractors and vendors? How about honoring the warranties on all of the homes he built in the last year???
  • Good
    I think Attorney Hogsett's words are so true. This man (Mr. Allen) provided a well paying job to her and she stole money. She needs to pay the consequences for that, and she is. Glad to see the justice system work.

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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