Lexington man gets to 27 months for defrauding Kentucky Bank, aggravated ID theft

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A 32-year-old Lexington man was sentenced to 27 months in prison after being convicted of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to prosecutors, Vonnie McDaniels was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves for obtaining a $382,500 commercial loan from Kentucky Bank in August 2019 under false pretenses, and using the loan proceeds to purchase an office building in Frankfort, Kentucky that was being leased by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

According to the evidence at trial, during the loan application process, McDaniels gave the bank falsified financial records and other information, which misrepresented his assets and liabilities, and modified key terms of the lease agreement with the state.

The state terminated the lease in December 2019. In March 2020, McDaniels requested loan forbearance from Kentucky Bank, falsely claiming the reason he was unable to repay the loan was the state of Kentucky had suspended rent payments under the lease due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To corroborate this lie about the pandemic, McDaniels fabricated a letter from a state employee purporting to suspend lease payments at the office building, and used the name and signature of that employee, prosecutors said.

McDaniels was convicted in June 2021.

Under federal law, Defendant’s last name must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence, and upon he release from prison will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Edward J. Gray, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisville Field Office; and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General; jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and FDIC-OIG.  The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Paul McCaffrey.

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