The head of the Paducah Convention Center and a contractor were in a federal courtroom Thursday for sentencing after pleading guilty to theft and embezzlement charges.
Forty-three-year-old J. Patrick Kerr, Jr. will serve 24 months in prison. Kerr was executive director of the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center Corporation. Sentenced to 18 months was 52-year-old Susan Wilson who worked as a vendor. Following their prison terms, each will be on supervised release for two years and must pay a total of $248 thousand in restitution.
“They devised a scheme to steal money that was intended for the greater good of the Paducah community,” stated U.S. Attorney David J. Hale. “In doing so, they violated the public’s trust and harmed an important community asset."
According to information presented in court, Kerr and Wilson conspired to steal funds from the Center's business account to support Kerr's dependency on pain medication. Starting in August 2010, Kerr created fraudulent invoices on his work computer made payable to Wilson, then issued Wilson fraudulent Convention Center business checks. The two then split the proceeds. Kerr contracted Wilson at an hourly rate of $120 for advertising services that were never rendered. The scheme went on for more than a year.