Two individuals involved with the Bell County Fair and Exhibition Board entered guilty pleas on Thursday in Bell Circuit Court. Juanita and Jesse Hall pleaded guilty to all of the charges placed against them.
Juanita Hall was charged with five counts of theft of labor in excess of $500, six counts of diversion of charitable gaming funds for financial benefit, theft by failure to make required disposition over $500, theft by deception over $10,000 and theft by failure to make required disposition over $10,000.
Jesse Hall was charged with six counts of diversion of charitable gaming funds for financial benefit over $300, three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition over $500 and one count of theft by failure to make required disposition over $10,000.
For the five counts of theft of labor, the commonwealth recommended that Juanita Hall serve five years in the penitentiary, that such sentences be probated, and that the defendant serve five years of supervised probation.
The commonwealth made the same recommendations for the remaining charges for Juanita Hall. Each sentence will run concurrently with each other.
The commonwealth recommended that Jesse Hall serve five years in the penitentiary and 90 days in the Bell County Jail under all counts, that such sentences be probated, and he shall be on supervised probation for five years.
The defendants will also be responsible for the balance of the restitution ($77,741) agreed on by all parties. They will also surrender to the Bell County Fair and Exhibition Board their unencumbered real property that is located in Bell County. The property represents $29,900 of the restitution they have to pay.
Both defendants agreed to a lifetime prohibition from charitable gaming. The defendants also authorized the Department of Charitable Gaming to deposit the funds obtained during the Bell County Fair criminal investigation ($706.50) into the cash fund to be used by the Charitable Gaming Enforcement Division.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.