Saturday, June 01, 2002

One brother convicted in pole barn scheme

By Janice Morse,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A Butler County jury convicted one Kentucky man but acquitted his brother Friday in a multi-county scheme involving pole barns that were never built.

        Prosecutor Robin Piper said it was probably the most complex white-collar crime case tried in the county in at least a decade. Jurors listened to six days of testimony then deliberated 18 hours over two days before returning verdicts.

        William J. Hicks, 33, was found guilty of 21 counts of theft by deception, attempted theft by deception and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Sentencing is July 10.

        The jury found Mr. Hicks' brother, Timothy W. Hicks, 38, not guilty of all 24 charges he had faced. While relieved for himself, Timothy Hicks “is sad because he knows his brother's going to go to prison for a long time,” defense lawyer David Brewer said.

        A third brother, Daniel P. Hicks, 37, previously pleaded guilty to passing bad checks, forgery and two counts of theft by deception; he is awaiting sentencing.

        Nearly two dozen customers of APF Construction in Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Clermont, Clinton and Holmes counties were charged for structures that were never built, prosecutors said. Victims reported losses ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $20,000.

        The split verdict suggests the jury may have concluded “that the one defendant really was the leader and the organizer,” and perhaps the other brother didn't really know what was going on, Mr. Piper said.


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