With a sentencing hearing looming next week, one of the former employees of MGT Construction who had a hand in the accounting scheme that toppled the general contracting firm has bought himself some extra time.
Patrick Lindsey, who ran the books at the now-defunct arm of Richmond real estate giant Thalhimer, had been set to be sentenced July 20 on one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. He pleaded guilty to the charge in February.
The sentencing, according to court records, has been continued to Oct. 15, while Lindsey’s attorney and federal prosecutors hash out the final restitution amount he’ll pay for his crime.
“Restitution… has been particularly difficult to determine with confidence and computation of a final figure is still being finalized by the government. It does not appear that the figure will be available by the currently scheduled sentencing date,” a July 1 filing shows.
“As such, the defendant has not had an opportunity to review the government’s calculation and is not in a position to agree or object to the final figure.”
Prosecutors agreed and the judge approved the continuance this month. Lindsey is represented in the case by Richmond attorney Theodore Bruns of Blackburn, Conte, Schilling & Click.
Lindsey was charged Feb. 18 via a so-called criminal information charge, which does not require a grand jury indictment. He was not arrested as part of the charge.
He began working at MGT in 2007 as an estimator and moved up to a vice president role by the time he was terminated in November 2016, when Thalhimer said it internally discovered the accounting problems.
A statement of facts included in the case states that Lindsey was integral to the orchestration of a five-year scheme that manipulated MGT’s books by moving expenses from one construction project to another in order to make completed jobs appear more profitable. That resulted in boosted bonuses for Lindsey and others, while concealing the company’s true, tenuous financial state.
The scheme caused MGT to collapse into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in early 2018, buried under more than $28 million in debt owed to more than 500 creditors. The bankruptcy case is ongoing.
The wire and bank fraud conspiracy charges are a result of Lindsey and others submitting false documents that were used to obtain loans for MGT from various banks such as SunTrust, BB&T, PNC and Fulton Bank, as well as to insurance companies for bonds on construction projects.
While Lindsey’s plea of conspiracy to commit the offenses implies that he didn’t act alone, the government’s case against Lindsey did not explicitly name any of his alleged co-conspirators.
The statement of facts states only that from 2011 through 2016, Lindsey conspired with “others known and unknown” and that he acted at “the direction of his co-conspirators.”
No other former MGT employees have been charged to date, according to federal court records.
Another legal case tied to MGT’s collapse was resolved earlier this summer when accounting firm Cherry Bekaert won a dismissal of a $28 million malpractice claim filed against it by Thalhimer. Thalhimer, which sought to blame the auditor for not catching the problems at MGT, has said it will appeal the decision.