.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Former Ballard Co. judge executive guilty of fraud

-A A +A

 PADUCAH – The former Ballard County Judge Executive pled guilty in United States District Court today, before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell, to multiple charges including bank fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements on loan applications, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

According to the plea agreement, Vickie Louise Viniard, 61, while serving as Ballard County Judge Executive, took out a series of five unauthorized loans, totaling over $1 million, on behalf of Ballard County during a two-year period between June of 2012 and June of 2014.

At the time of the loans, Ballard County suffered from cash shortages and this prompted the Defendant’s scheme, which was to obtain short-term loans in order to fund Ballard County operations and make payments on bond obligations without seeking the approval of the Ballard County Fiscal Court, which she was required to do under Kentucky Revised Statutes 67.710 and 67.080, or informing the Kentucky Department of Local Government, which she was required to do under Kentucky Revised Statute 65.117. The Defendant did not personally benefit from any of these loans and all loan proceeds were used for Ballard County expenditures; however, the Defendant lied to the bank’s loan officer by claiming she had authority to obtain the loans, which she knew she did not have.  The Defendant also intentionally concealed these loans from the Ballard County Fiscal Court for over two years and never notified the Kentucky Department of Local Government about any of the loans.

Furthermore, as part of one of the loan application packages, the Defendant executed a false Corporate Resolution to Borrow, which stated that the Ballard County Fiscal Court held a meeting and adopted a resolution authorizing the Defendant to borrow money. However, when executing the Corporate Resolution to Borrow, the Defendant knew that the Resolution was false in that the Ballard County Fiscal Court never held such a meeting and never authorized her to borrow money.

According to the plea agreement, Viniard will owe at least $21,000 in restitution to the Ballard County Fiscal Court, some of which she may be jointly and severally liable for with co-defendant Belinda Janean Foster, the former Ballard County Treasurer.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute Bonner and is being investigated by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).