Craig Harris/Macon County Times Red Boiling Springs resident John Cook, who pled guilty to four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, has been managing the Donoho Hotel in Red Boiling Springs.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Red Boiling Springs resident John Cook, who pled guilty to four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, has been managing the Donoho Hotel in Red Boiling Springs.

A Red Boiling Springs man pled guilty to four counts of interstate transportation of stolen property on April 23 in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Ky.

According to a release issued by the United States Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky, John Cook, 57, is charged with stealing $194,000 in investment funds.

Cook and his attorney -- Peter J. Strianse -- appeared in open court and pleaded guilty, waiving 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 provided a written promissory note explaining that the money would be used for the 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.

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.

The call center -- which is expected to be approximately 73,000 square feet -- will be built on the Lafayette Technology Campus property, located just off of Hwy. 52 and near the Winding Stairs Trails and Nature Park. The city of Lafayette purchased that property in 2012.

However, the progress of the Lafayette call center is not expected to be impacted by Cook's guilty plea.

"I was told the call center here in Lafayette is still in the works," Lafayette Mayor Richard Driver said. "It's still going to move forward."

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

The maximum prison sentence is 10 years per count, which could add up to 40 years total for Cook. There is also a maximum fine of $1 million, in addition to a three-year term of supervised release.

Cook is currently released on bond by the court.

Sentencing before United States District Judge Greg N. Stivers will be held in Bowling Green at 9 a.m. on July 31.

Cook will be required to pay the full restitution of $194,000 to the four investors by the date of his sentencing.