CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The former owner of Lighthouse Properties in Campbell County will spend over three years behind bars after he was accused of stealing more than $550,000 in an embezzlement scheme.
According to court documents, Timothy Darrell Penick of Forest, owned and operated Lighthouse Properties since 2011 and provided real estate management services to clients, including homeowners’ associations and individual property owners.
Then, beginning in June 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) says that Penick “devised a scam to defraud multiple clients” by gaining direct access to their bank accounts; transferring their funds into accounts that were solely under his control; and then using these funds for his personal benefit, all without his clients’ authorization.
To cover up the misuse of client funds, officials say Penick created fake bank account statements to show his clients and his representatives, leaving out the transactions from the clients’ accounts into his accounts.
“Mr. Penick implemented exceptional measures to prevent the unraveling of his scheme. Through this joint investigation by the FBI, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office’s in the Western District of Virginia, he is no longer able to defraud clients of their hard-earned money and will be held responsible for his criminal activity,” stated Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “We encourage those who believe they’ve been victimized by a similar scheme to contact law enforcement via https://tips.fbi.gov/.”
In May 2021, Penick pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Over a year later — on Wednesday, June 22 — the DOJ announced that the 39-year-old was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison.
“This defendant violated the trust of his clients through his fraudulent behavior,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said. “I am grateful for the work of the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that brought him to justice and will provide the victims in this case with restitution for the crimes committed against them.”