Feb 27, 2014 3:30 PM
OWENSBORO - An Owensboro man pleaded guilty this week in federal court in connection with defrauding over $200,000 from an elderly Daviess County couple and agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $220,000.
Robert K. Gray, 49, admitted to defrauding the couple of their retirement fund by making material misrepresentations about an investment opportunity in the defendant's construction company, after home improvements to the couple's home in excess of $300,000 were completed, an amount that is more than double the assessed value of the property.
Specifically, between January 2010 through August 2010, the victim paid $338,000 to Gray and to his brother (not a defendant in the indictment) for renovations to his home which, in 2013, according to the property valuation records kept by the City of Owensboro, was valued at $148,000.
Between July 2010 and December 2010, Gray is charged with devising a scheme to defraud the couple of their GE retirement fund in the amount of $220,000.
Officials say Gray asked the victim to invest in his start-up company, Unlimited Constructors, to fund commercial construction projects Gray said the company had in Madisonville and on Highway 54 in Owensboro.
Gray promised the couple a substantial return on his investment and said he would get all of his investment back, with interest, when in truth and in fact, Gray knew Unlimited Constructors did not have construction projects for a shopping center in Madisonville or for any commercial development on Highway 54 in Owensboro.
Officials said as part of the scheme, an Unlimited Constructors bank account was opened byy Gray at U.S. Bank on September 27, 2010.
According to the indictment, none of the funds obtained from the couple were used in construction projects in Madisonville or Owensboro. According to bank records, the account was almost entirely funded by checks drawn on the couple's retirement fund, made payable to them.
Gray allegedly used the funds to pay for personal expenses and to purchase vehicles including a 2006 Hummer for $25,000 the day after the account was opened and, approximately two weeks later, to purchase a 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle for $5,000.
If convicted at trial, Gray faced 120 years in prison, a $1,5 million fine, and a three-year period of supervised release.
Gray is scheduled for sentencing before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on May 22, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Owensboro.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).