Former Bullitt County master commissioner faces 3 years in prison for fraud

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

A former court official in Bullitt County was sentenced at U.S. District Court in Louisville to nearly three years in federal prison on charges of defrauding two trusts originally held by senior beneficiaries.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky says John Anthony Schmidt, 67, an attorney and the Former Bullitt County Master Commissioner, was sentenced to 2 years and 11 months in prison, followed by a 3-year term of supervised release, with a special condition of 100 hours of community service, for one count of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The charges in this case were in connection with Schmidt’s scheme to steal over $435,000 while he was serving as the court appointed trustee for two trusts, the beneficiaries of which relied on Schmidt to manage the trusts’ assets. As part of his scheme, Schmidt stole from the trusts to pay for his own personal expenditures, including to pay debts he incurred to individuals he had represented or purported to represent in the course of his legal practice and to replace missing funds from the Bullitt County Master Commissioner bank account.

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Schmidt was also ordered to pay restitution to multiple victims in the case.

According to the Kentucky Court of Justice, m​​​​​​​​​​​​aster commissioners are appointed by the circuit judge to serve in each county to assist the judge with judicial sales  and special proceedings or other duties as directed by the court.  Judicial sales typically involve properties that eventually must be disposed of by court action, such as foreclosures.