Nicholasville couple and son convicted of conspiracy to defraud business

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Following an eight-day trial, a federal jury in Lexington convicted 70-year old James Minton, his 65-year old wife Joyce Minton, and the couple’s 43-year old son Aaron Brooke Warren, all of
Nicholasville, of numerous counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, according to federal prosecutors.

According to the evidence presented, James Minton, Joyce Minton, and Aaron Brooke Warren conspired to defraud their employer, Clark Machine Tool and Die, of Nicholasville.

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The criminal conspiracy took place from February 2000 through May 2016 and resulted in a loss in excess of $1,500,000, according to prosecutors.

Investigators say the three defrauded the business by using company checks and credit cards to purchase personal items, by cashing and keeping company petty cash checks, by issuing themselves extra paychecks, and by inflating their paychecks.

Prosecutors say the conspirators also kept money that customers had paid the company for work, converting those funds to their personal use.

Joyce Minton was the office manager and bookkeeper for the company; Aaron Brooke Warren was the company’s shop supervisor; and James Minton was a contractor.

On Monday, the jury convicted Joyce Minton of 46 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering; Aaron Brooke Warren was convicted of 34 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and money laundering; and James Minton was convicted of 7 counts of conspiracy and mail fraud, according to prosecutors.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neeraj Gupta and Ken Taylor prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government.

The Defendants are currently scheduled to be sentenced on September 25, 2017, in Lexington.

They face a maximum sentence of 30 years for the convictions, as well as potential restitution and forfeiture. Any sentence, however, will be imposed by the Court, after it has considered the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes governing the imposition of sentences, according to prosecutors.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.