The Richmond Register

Local News

March 3, 2013

J.R. Kennedy sentencing is set for May 16

Victims number more than 1,000


In his time as a tax preparer who solicited clients largely from among employees of defense contractors, Richmond tax preparer J.R. Kennedy victimized more than 1,000 of them.

The number of victims was supplied by Kyle Edelen, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Lexington.

Edelen said the federal prosecutor’s office, which employs victim and witness specialists, have kept Kennedy’s known victims informed of how his case progressed.

Victim specialists help victims prepare statements to the court on the impact a crime had on them or their families and assists them in seeking restitution from perpetrators, Edelen said.

Kennedy, 58, who ended his three-day federal trial Aug. 29 by pleading guilty to one count of preparing false tax returns, had been indicted on 23 counts.

He was scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 21, but Kennedy’s attorney was granted a delay until May 16.

Court documents obtained through Pacer, the federal justice system’s online service, gave no reason for the delay signed Feb. 8 by Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

If Kennedy is sentenced May 16, just over four years and one month will have passed since April 15, 2009, when IRS criminal investigators raided Kennedy’s Second Street office that faced the Madison County Courthouse.

An anti-tax protest by adherents of the then-new tea party movement was underway in front of the courthouse as the raid took place, leaving some participants to wonder whether it had been staged to intimidate them.

Kennedy was taken into federal custody in South Carolina in late April 2011, more than two years later. He was released by a federal court in Greenville, S.C., under a $25,000 unsecured bond, court documents show, and has remained free since.

He was represented by a public defender then, but attorney Derek Gordon of the Lexington firm Anggelis and Gorden filed the motion to delay Kennedy’s sentencing.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney after his guilty plea, Kennedy’s offer carried a maximum of sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

When he was released on bail, Kennedy listed his employer as Lockheed Martin in Greenville, S.C.

Many of Kennedy’s former clients, who have followed news of his case on the Richmond Register’s website, said he marketed his services to them because they, like him, were employed by defense contractors. He told his customers he knew how to obtain tax deductions based on their special circumstances.

One caller said his supervisor used Kennedy’s services and recommended him highly.

Former Kennedy clients said they worked for defense contractors in South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and California as well as Kentucky.

After many customers’ returns were audited by the IRS, some Kennedy clients learned he had claimed charitable or other deductions on their behalf, unbeknownst to them. The deductions were used to obtain larger tax refunds than they were due.

However, Kennedy gave clients copies of returns without the bogus deductions, which indicated they would receive smaller refunds. He then wrote them checks for the smaller refunds and pocketed the difference when he was sent the refunds by the IRS, the customers said.

This left the victims exposed to tax liabilities and penalties ranging as high as $50,000, at least one of them said.

The IRS was unsympathetic to the financial difficulties in which Kennedy’s fraud had put them, they said.

The portion of the plea agreement available to the public stated Kennedy cannot appeal his conviction and required him to cooperate with government investigators.

However, the Pacer database indicates there also is a sealed supplemental plea agreement that is not accessible to the public.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor

or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies


    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results