John Cook

John Cook

A Red Boiling Springs man was sentenced to six months in federal prison at a hearing that took place on July 31 in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Ky.

John Cook, 57, was charged with stealing $194,000 in investment funds and pled guilty to four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property on April 23.

By pleading guilty at that time, Cook waived his right to be indicted by the grand jury. In the plea agreement, Cook admitted that he solicited the funds in September of 2013.

The funds came from four individuals in Monroe County, Ky., with each of those individuals exceeding $5,000 in their investments. One of the individuals invested $130,000, and another invested $50,000.

The funds were to go toward the development of a call center that was supposed to be developed in Tompkinsville, Ky.

Cook was also listed as the project manager on an inbound call center that could bring approximately 250 jobs to Lafayette later this year. That was announced in January.

Cook provided a written promissory note explaining that the money would be used for the Tompkinsville call center.

Cook created Minority Holdings and Management LLC in September of 2013. The promissory notes were issued by Minority Holdings, and after opening a bank account in Putnam County, Cook deposited the checks in the Minority Holdings accounts.

Cook spent funds for personal benefit, for the benefit of others and for purposes not related to the call center, including the payroll of the Donoho Hotel in Red Boiling Springs. Cook managed the Donoho Hotel.

A minimal amount of funds were used for call-center-related expenses, but there is no call center in Tompkinsville.

United States Assistant Attorney Joshua Judd prosecuted Cook's case, which was investigated by the FBI.

Sentencing was held before United States District Judge Greg N. Stivers.

Cook - who was represented by attorney Peter J. Strianse - will be housed at a federal prison closest to home.

The maximum prison sentence is 10 years per count, which could have added up to 40 years total for Cook.

Once his prison term is fulfilled, he will be on three years of supervised release.

He will also be required to pay the remaining portion of the full restitution $199,000, a current total of $185,000.

Cook will be informed of when and where he will be imprisoned by his probation or pretrial services officer.