Former Lawrence County Attorney Sentenced to 42 Months for Wire Fraud and Federal Program Theft

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The former County Attorney for Lawrence County, Michael T. Hogan, and his wife and legal secretary, Joy M. Hogan, 41, were sentenced to 42 months and 12 months and one day, respectively, on Tuesday, by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, for wire fraud. Michael Hogan was also sentenced for federal program theft. 

According to the Hogans’ plea agreements, the Hogans conspired with each other to commit wire fraud by issuing checks from a second delinquent tax account for the Lawrence County Attorney’s Office, the statements for which went to their personal residence.  Michael Hogan and Joy Hogan would routinely prepare “bonus” checks issued to Joy, and signed by Michael, paid with delinquent tax funds that should have been used on operating expenses for the Lawrence County Attorney’s Office.  The Hogans deposited these checks in Joy’s personal account and the couple’s joint accounts and spent the funds on personal expenses.  Michael Hogan admitted he personally benefitted from these payments and knew some of these payments were not reasonable in amount, nor beneficial to the public.  According to the indictment, between March 8, 2013, and April 30, 2020, Michael Hogan paid Joy Hogan more than $365,000 from the Lawrence County Delinquent Tax Account.         

Michael Hogan also admitted to defrauding the Lawrence County Child Support Enforcement Office, part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  According to his plea agreement, Hogan billed the program for more hours than he actually worked.

“Michael Hogan turned to his own self-interests and used taxpayer money for his and his wife’s personal benefit,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “As an elected County Attorney, he was responsible for upholding the law; instead, he brazenly broke it, at the expense of those who elected him.  His conduct will leave lasting damage, both from the theft and from the resulting loss of faith in government officials and law enforcement.  His prosecution and sentence are the first steps in the effort to restore that faith.”

“Public corruption erodes the people’s trust in our government officials and fuels divisiveness in our community.  We have been crystal clear that corruption, at any level, will not be tolerated in Kentucky, ” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office.  “No one is above the law and the victim of this crime, the people of Kentucky, deserve better.  Today’s sentence demonstrates that the FBI, and its law enforcement partners, will hold those who violate the public’s trust accountable for their actions.”

As part of his plea agreement, Michael Hogan agreed to resign as the Lawrence County Attorney.

The Hogans pleaded guilty in March 2022.

Under federal law, the Hogans must serve 85 percent of their prison sentence.  Upon their release from prison, both Michael and Joy Hogan will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

United States Attorney Shier; FBI Special Agent Cohen; and Col. Phillip Burnett, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and KSP.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Smith and James Chapman.