Charity founder indicted on federal charges - News, Weather & Sports

Charity founder indicted on federal charges

Stan Curtis during a Blessings In A Backpack event in Dec. 2011. Stan Curtis during a Blessings In A Backpack event in Dec. 2011.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The founder of USA Harvest is facing federal charges that he stole from the charity, laundered money and failed to report income.

A seven-count indictment was returned against Hugh "Stan" Curtis, 63, on Wednesday. Curtis is accused of stealing over $183,000 in donations that he solicited on behalf of USA Harvest. The indictment states Curtis deposited $164,620 into his personal account and personally cashed checks valued at $18,734 and used the money for his personal benefit.

Curtis is also facing tax fraud charges for failure to report $553,000 in personal income that he received from USA Harvest between 2005 to 2008. That amounts includes the stolen donation and over $370,000 in travel expenses that Curtis charges to USA Harvest.

Four counts of the indictment state that Curtis filed false tax returns with the IRS.

In a press release announcing the indictment, The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky said that none of the charities Curtis was associated with – USA Harvest, Kentucky Harvest or Blessing In A Backpack – are accused of any wrongdoing.

In a statement released to WAVE 3, a spokesperson for Kentucky Harvest said:

"We are saddened by the news related to Mr. Curtis. As stated by the US Attorney, Kentucky Harvest was never part of any investigation. Our mission of raising food for those less fortunate will continue, with the help of the good people in our community."

If convicted, Curtis faces 52 years in prison and a fine of $1.15 million.

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