BALLARD COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - A former Ballard County, Kentucky judge executive pleaded guilty to fraud charges on Monday, August 7.
Vickie Louise Viniard, 61, pleaded guilty to multiple charges including bank fraud, wire fraud and making false statements on loan applications.
According to the plea agreement, while serving as Ballard County judge executive, Viniard took out a series of five unauthorized loans totaling more than $1 million on behalf of Ballard County during a two-year period between June 2012 and June 2014.
According to court documents, at the time of the loans, Ballard County suffered from cash shortages and this prompted her to get short-term loans in order to fund Ballard County operations and make payments on bond obligations without seeking the approval of the Ballard County Fiscal Court like she was required to do, or telling the Kentucky Department of Local Government.
Court documents state Viniard did not personally benefit from any of the loans and all loan proceeds were used for Ballard County expenditures; however, she lied to the bank's loan officer by claiming she had the authority to get the loans, which she knew she did not have.
Viniard also intentionally concealed the loans from the Ballard County Fiscal Court for more than two years and never notified the Kentucky Department of Local Government about any of the loans.
Furthermore, as part of one of the loan application packages, Viniard executed a false Corporate Resolution to Borrow, which stated that the Ballard County Fiscal Court held a meeting and adopted a resolution authorizing her to borrow money. However, when executing the Corporate Resolution to Borrow, Viniard knew that it was false in that the Ballard County Fiscal Court never held such a meeting and never authorized her to borrow money.
According to the plea agreement, Viniard will owe at least $21,000 in restitution to the Ballard County Fiscal Court, some of which she may be jointly and severally liable for with co-defendant Belinda Janean Foster, the former Ballard County treasurer.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute Bonner and is being investigated by the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.