Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Golf professional charged with wire fraud, money laundering and embezzlement

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A federal grand jury in Springfield, Massachusetts, returned an indictment charging a local golf professional with theft concerning a program receiving federal funds, wire fraud, money laundering-related crimes, and filing false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling for the District of Massachusetts. The indictment also charges the golf professional and two local home builders with conspiring to defraud the United States.

According to the indictment, Kevin M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts resident, owned and operated Kennedy Golf Management Inc. (KGM), through which he managed the City of Springfield’s two public golf courses, Franconia Golf Course and Veterans Memorial Golf Course. As part of its duties, KGM was required to collect golfer fees, known as “greens fees,” and motorized cart rental fees on behalf of the City of Springfield.

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From 2010 through 2016, Kennedy allegedly embezzled greens fees and cart fees that were owed to the City by stealing cash directly from the City’s cash register and by diverting payments to KGM terminals. In an attempt to conceal the scheme, it is further alleged that Kennedy provided fraudulent records to the City that underreported the golf courses’ daily activity and revenues. Kennedy allegedly used the stolen funds for personal expenditures, including building homes in East Longmeadow, and West Dennis, Massachusetts, and failed to report the income on his 2010 through 2014 tax returns.

In addition, the indictment charges that from 2009 through 2016, Kennedy conspired with Kent Pecoy, the owner of Kent Pecoy and Sons Construction Inc. (KPSC), and his son, Jason Pecoy, a KPSC project manager, to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service and the collection of taxes by concealing Kennedy’s cash payments for construction of the East Longmeadow and West Dennis homes.

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According to the indictment, Kennedy paid the Pecoys in cash and the Pecoys failed to deposit most of the cash into business bank accounts, but rather distributed the cash directly to vendors and subcontractors. When they did deposit the cash, it is alleged that the Pecoys deposited funds in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports.

The indictment further alleges that the Pecoys created and maintained separate ledgers documenting Kennedy’s cash payments, created and maintained false contracts and cover sheets, and created false entries in KPSC’s accounting system to conceal the cash payments.

If convicted, Kennedy faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and money laundering, ten years in prison for each count of theft concerning a program receiving federal funds and for engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specific unlawful activities, five years in prison for conspiracy, and three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. Kennedy also faces a term of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

If convicted, the Pecoys each face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count, a term of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: justice.gov

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