Former Ky. county attorney, wife sentenced to prison for wire fraud

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022

Former Lawrence County Attorney Michael T. Hogan, and his wife and legal secretary, Joy M. Hogan, were sentenced to 42 months and 12 months and one day, respectively, for wire fraud in U.S. District Court.

Michael Hogan was also sentenced for federal program theft, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Kentucky announced.

According to the Hogans’ plea agreements, the Hogans conspired with each other to commit wire fraud by issuing checks from a second delinquent tax account for the Lawrence County Attorney’s Office, the statements for which went to their personal residence. The couple would routinely prepare “bonus” checks issued to Joy, and signed by Michael, paid with delinquent tax funds that should have been used on operating expenses for the County Attorney’s Office, but were used for personal expenses.

According to the indictment, between March 8, 2013, and April 30, 2020, Michael Hogan paid Joy Hogan more than $365,000 from the Lawrence County Delinquent Tax Account.

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Michael Hogan also admitted to defrauding the Lawrence County Child Support Enforcement Office, billing the program for more hours than he actually worked.

“Michael Hogan turned to his own self-interests and used taxpayer money for his and his wife’s personal benefit,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “As an elected County Attorney, he was responsible for upholding the law; instead, he brazenly broke it, at the expense of those who elected him. His conduct will leave lasting damage, both from the theft and from the resulting loss of faith in government officials and law enforcement.  His prosecution and sentence are the first steps in the effort to restore that faith.”

Jodi Cohen of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office noted, “Public corruption erodes the people’s trust in our government officials and fuels divisiveness in our community. We have been crystal clear that corruption, at any level, will not be tolerated in Kentucky. No one is above the law and the victim of this crime, the people of Kentucky, deserve better.  This sentence demonstrates that the FBI, and its law enforcement partners, will hold those who violate the public’s trust accountable for their actions.”

Under federal law, the Hogans must serve 85 percent of their prison sentence. Upon their release, they will both be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.