BOWLING GREEN — Michael Barrick, a Cave City businessman who is also known as Kentuckyana “Tuck” Jones, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky in Bowling Green Thursday along with three codefendants.
Barrick was sentenced to 33 months in prison, plus five years of supervised release for five counts of federal bank fraud. He was also ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in restitution plus court costs in the amount of $500.
Barrick pleaded guilty in May to all five counts. He was indicted in November 2016.
The indictment alleged he and three co-defendants, Roger Hagan, Garry Hammer and Lorri Hughes, worked to execute and attempt to execute schemes to obtain money and assets from American Bank and Trust, Monticello Bank and what was then known as PBI Bank, but is now known as Limestone Bank, under false pretenses when buying and selling property, including businesses in Kentucky and Tennessee from 2007 to 2012.
David Weiser, assistant U.S. Attorney, said he believed the sentence was satisfactory, but added that there was some concern over Barrick's acceptance of his responsibility.
Weiser continued that Barrick was “an organized leader” who pulled in several codefendants who had no past criminal history and would not have been involved in criminal activities had it not been for their association with Barrick.
“We looked at Mr. Barrick's finances,” Weiser said.
Weiser pointed out that Barrick has made claims of several assets, including a Picasso painting.
Barrick's sentencing memorandum states that he claims ownership of STMCA-LLC, but lists no value for the ownership. STMCA-LLC owns the Kentuckyana Jones Museum in Cave City and other rental properties.
The document also states that Barrick submitted a financial statement for STMCA-LLC to Revere Capital, claiming more than $1.5 million in annual income and over $43 million in assets, including more than $6.3 million in real estate and more than $36 million in collections.
The Picasso painting was part of the collections, as well as 22,000 carats of gemstones, a 33-carat emerald, a George Washington signed desk, a crystal skull and a jade skull, the document said.
“The U.S. wonders where all those assets went,” Weiser said. “We have concerns about whether all of his finances have been revealed.”
Weiser also said he has received many calls about other potential fraudulent schemes involving Barrick.
Barrick was given an opportunity to speak during the sentencing hearing.
“I fully accept responsibility of any wrongdoing and mishandling I may have done,” he said.
He talked about having worked for the government in the past and even having been undercover at some point. He also said he was involved in a lot of situations because of the work he did for the government, yet he did not say what type of work he performed.
“There is so much truth that has not come out,” Barrick said, adding he knows he has to be the one to pay the price.
In a sentencing memorandum that Barrick filed on Tuesday, he asked to be placed on house arrest rather than receiving prison time.
In the sentencing memorandum, he said he “firmly believes that he can and could and would make full, or near full restitution, paid and restored within five years or less, by being placed under working, restrictive house arrest.”
He also asked in the document that while under house arrest that he be confined to the Treasure Trove Park, a new attraction he has opened along Mammoth Cave Road in Cave City.
He said during the sentencing hearing that Treasure Trove Park offers great income potential and philanthropy opportunities.
Barrick had no attorney to represent him at the sentencing and hasn't had one throughout much of the legal process.
“I couldn't afford to do anything better,” he said, adding that because of his “dealings with the government” he was afraid to accept a government attorney.
He said he aspires to do good and has always wanted to do good, and that he would never repeat any of the things he has done that lead to him being charged with five counts of bank fraud.
U.S. Senior Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. presided over the sentencing hearing and said: “There may be some truth out there that may not have been brought out.”
The judge continued that it seemed to him that Barrick was wanting to blame somebody else.
McKinley also said he took Barrick up on his invitation to take a look at Treasure Trove Park's social media page.
“You may be really proud of that … (and) maybe I'm not the dreamer that you are, but I'm not seeing that as having any potential that is going to pay $1.4 million in five years,” the judge said. “All in all, the common thread is you were involved in all of (this).”
As for Barrick's request to be put on house arrest, McKinley said: “I just can't do that.”
He explained that if he sentenced Barrick to house arrest it would not promote respect for the law.
“I think you need to be punished and I think you need to go to prison,” McKinley said.
Barrick was not taken into custody at the end of the sentencing hearing, but will be notified by his probation officer of the date in which he is to report to jail.
As part of his sentencing, Barrick also gave up his right to appeal.
Barrick's codefendants — Garry Hammer, Roger Hagan and Lorrie Hughes — were also sentenced on Thursday.
Hammer was sentenced to one day with credit given for time served, ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution plus 10 percent in interest, a $5,000 fine and $200 in court costs. He also gave up his right to appeal.
Hammer pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud in April.
His involvement in the matter stems from two fraudulent loans he helped arrange while employed by Monticello Bank in Bowling Green in late 2010 and early 2011, both involving borrowers ostensibly purchasing businesses associated with Barrick, said his sentencing memorandum.
Hagan was sentenced to one day with credit given for time served, plus three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution and $200 in court costs.
The indictment alleges that Hagan was recruited by Barrick to purchase property at 302 Laurel St. in Smiths Grove, and at Barrick's direction, Hagan submitted a personal financial statement to American Bank and Trust containing false statements regarding his assets and income.
Hughes was also sentenced one day with credit given for time served, plus three years of supervised released and ordered to pay nearly $170,000 in restitution and $100 in court costs.
She pleaded guilty in April to one count of bank fraud.
The indictment alleges that Barrick recruited her to purchase a Wholesale Mattress Warehouse business at 1700 N. Dixie Highway in Elizabethtown, even though Barrick knew there was a McDonald's restaurant at that address.
At Barrick's direction, on Jan. 22, 2011, Hughes submitted a financial statement to Monticello Bank containing false information about her assets. She also allegedly submitted a forged letter to the bank containing false statements about her employment and job title, according to the indictment.
Hughes was approved for the loan and purchased the business from Barrick on Jan. 28, 2011 for $179,000.
After the loan closed and until about July 11, 2011, Barrick made monthly payments on the loan, but it went into default on Feb. 27, 2012.