For the second time this year, a former MGT Construction employee will get to wait a bit longer before being sentenced for his involvement in the accounting scheme that toppled the longtime local general contracting company.
Patrick Lindsey, who ran the books at the now-defunct arm of Richmond real estate giant Thalhimer, on Oct. 1 requested and received an extension for the date of his sentencing hearing, which is now set for 2 p.m. Jan. 6 before U.S. District Court Judge M. Hannah Lauck.
Lindsey originally had been set for sentencing on July 20 for one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, before having it extended to Oct. 15. He pleaded guilty to the charge in February.
His attorney’s reasoning for the extension then is the same this time around: he’s still waiting for federal prosecutors to 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,” his attorney Theodore Bruns of Richmond firm Blackburn, Conte, Schilling & Click said in the Oct. 1 filing.
“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,” the filing states.
Federal prosecutors also agreed to the extension.
Lindsey was charged Feb. 18, 2019 via so-called criminal information, which does not require a grand jury indictment. He was not arrested as part of the charge.
Lindsey 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.
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.