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PRESS RELEASE: Louisville Attorney David Cary Ford Guilty Of Wire Fraud And Money Laundering

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Louisville Attorney Guilty Of Wire Fraud And Money Laundering

Ordered to pay $1,602,327.14 to multiple victims including $268,459.06 to St. Mary’s Church and $245,993.67 to WHAS Crusade for Children

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville attorney pleaded guilty in United States District Court yesterday, before Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin, to criminal counts of wire fraud and money laundering, stemming from his activities as the executor of seven estates in Louisville, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

“Attorneys are professionally and ethically bound to serve their clients’ best interests,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn.  “We simply cannot tolerate attorneys or any other fiduciaries using their positions of trust to steal from those they are obligated to protect.  This prosecution serves the principle of justice and vindicates the breach of a trust that is an absolutely essential component of a multitude of professional relationships.”

David Cary Ford, 53, admitted that from November 6, 2008, through February 11, 2015, while a practicing attorney, he served as executor of the estates of Saundra A. Benzinger, Kenneth L. Keith, William T. Lawson, Mary Helen Pfeffer, Elinor E. Starr, Mary Augustine Starr, and Richard Steinmetz. Ford took funds from those estates totaling approximately $1,666,671.18, and used those estates’ funds for personal expenses and enjoyment, including significant gambling activity, instead of using the funds as designated by the decedents of those estates, or for the benefit of the beneficiaries of those estates, in the following amounts:

$   737,981.00             Estate of Saundra Benzinger

$   492,862.18             Estate of Elinor Starr

$   290,315.00             Estate of Mary Starr

$     62,343.00             Estate of Kenneth Keith

$     26,300.00             Estate of Richard Steinmetz

$     17,025.00             Estate of Mary Helen Pfeffer

$       8,200.00             Estate of William Lawson

Specifically, as executor of these estates, Ford was authorized at various banks to pay estate expenses. However, Ford also used these estate accounts, without authorization, to withdraw cash and to pay his personal expenses with estate client funds.  In his capacity as executor, Ford processed these withdrawals of estate funds and mischaracterized them as estate expenses.

Further, Ford admitted that from July 21, 2014, to July 28, 2014, he laundered fraud proceeds by using funds from one estate to conceal the depletion of the funds from another estate. Specifically, to promote his unlawful activity and to conceal or disguise the source and nature of proceeds from that unlawful activity, on July 24, 2014, after depleting the funds of the Estate of Kenneth L. Keith, Ford took $35,960.18 from the estate of Elinor E. Starr, in a cashier’s check, deposited those funds into his escrow account, and then on July 28, 2014, used $25,000 of those funds to pay a beneficiary of the Estate of Kenneth L. Keith.

As part of the plea agreement, Ford agreed to make restitution to the beneficiaries of the estates ($1,554,555.36 to various charities, nonprofits and religious organizations, and $47,771.78 to individuals) in the following amounts:

Victim                                                                                    Amount

St. Mary’s Church $   268,459.06
Passionist Community $   245,993.67
Passionist Nuns $   245,993.67
WHAS Crusade For Children $   245,993.67
National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton $   134,229.53
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Inc. $   134,229.53
Archdiocese of Louisville $     89,486.35
St. Francis of Assisi Church $     44,743.18
Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Inc. $     44,743.18
Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s $     44,743.18
Nazareth Literary and Benevolent Institution, Inc. $    44,743.18
L.S. (an individual) $     24,300.50
C.P. (an individual) $     17,025.00
Little Sisters of the Poor $       5,598.59
L.A. (an individual) $       3,099.48
C.B. (an individual) $       3,099.48
Holy Family Catholic Church $       2,799.30
Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church $       2,799.30
R.S. (an individual) $            82.44
V. S. (an individual) $            82.44
P.S. (an individual) $            82.44
Total $1,602,327.14

Ford faces a maximum penalty of forty years’ imprisonment, $750,000 in fines, and supervised release for a period of three years. Sentencing is scheduled on June 6, 2016, in Louisville.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Snyder, and it results from an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com


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