White Collar and Government

Investigations Attorneys


Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering:

Stephen Kohout, 56, of Williamsburg, pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court to charges of wire fraud and concealment money laundering.  Kohout faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 for the wire fraud charge.  Concealment money laundering carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a $500,000 fine.  A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 10, 2014 in Norfolk.

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Kohout was given power of attorney by his parents in 2003 which gave him the ability to make decisions about his parents’ property, assets, and income.  Officials say that Kohout moved money from their investment account to a bank trust from 2008 to 2011 and later transferred $386,000 of these funds into an account in his name.  While he indicated that he would use the money for trading activities, Kohout instead used the funds for personal living expenses, credit card bills, dining, and entertainment.

Late in 2012 a nursing home tried to evict Kohout’s mother for falling felling behind on payments.  The following month Kohout filed for personal bankruptcy and admitted to misappropriating his parents’ money.  Officials appointed Kohout’s sister as the emergency guardian of their parents’ estate and her care is being paid for by welfare funds.

The investigation of this case was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Brian Samuels is prosecuting the case.