Computer company owner pleads guilty in Ky. to wire fraud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville says the owner of a Virginia computer sales company has pleaded guilty in federal court to multiple wire fraud charges related to the theft of about $809,000.

Mark Allen Hartley, the owner of Patriot Computers, entered the plea on Wednesday in U.S. District Court. Prosecutors say Hartley devised a scheme to defraud First Citizens Bank in Hardin County, Kentucky.

According to the indictment, Hartley created fraudulent sales contracts for computers and sent them to the bank, which transferred unauthorized payments from victims’ paychecks to an account controlled by Hartley. Hartley’s business, Patriot Computers, sold to customers who agreed to have payments deducted from their paychecks. The fraud occurred between 2012 and 2014.

Hartley faces a sentence of up to 80 years in prison.