The owner of Lighthouse Properties of Virginia, a Campbell County-based property management company, pleaded guilty to fraud in what prosecutors called an embezzlement scheme involving the theft of more than $ 550,000.
Timothy Darrell Penick, 38, of Forest, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in Lynchburg U.S. District Court via videoconference on Wednesday – the same day the charge was laid against him, records show court online.
Penick founded the company in 2011 and launched a “scheme to defraud” several clients, including homeowners’ associations and homeowners, in mid-2018, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office on Thursday. of the Western District of Virginia.
He directly accessed the bank accounts of the company’s customers and transferred money to other accounts he controlled, the press release said. He then created fraudulent bank statements for customers that obscured these transfers, which were not individually authorized and did not benefit customers.
Bob Lemon said he became treasurer of the Jefferson Oaks Property Owners Association shortly after the association realized it had lost approximately $ 250,000 to Penick and his business. Most of the money raised was from reserve funds the association had set up for the upkeep of buildings and the grounds of houses in his neighborhood of Forest, and he said he still didn’t know what he was like. used or spent.