Date: March 31, 2021 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org LEXINGTON, KY — A Lexington man pled guilty Tuesday, to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and filing false tax returns. Ricky L. Meek pled guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of filing false tax returns. The information charged that Meek conspired with J.M., the daughter of H.W., to receive and spend funds, that were deposited in a federally insured financial institution, under false pretenses. In his guilty plea agreement, Meek admitted that he and J.M. failed to notify the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS) of H.W.'s death, back in 2014. Then, for a period of nearly five years, Meek and J.M. took H.W.'s pension benefits, which were continuing to be deposited in H.W.'s bank account, even though H.W. was only entitled to those benefits for her lifetime. Meek admitted that he and J.M. purported to act as H.W. (or H.W.'s power of attorney) when withdrawing and spending the money. As a result of his actions, Meek admitted to causing KTRS to pay out $256,253.13 in retirement benefits improperly. He also admitted to failing to report those funds on his tax returns. Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation; and Lesley C. Allison, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge of the Pittsburg Division, jointly announced the guilty plea. The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and United States Postal Inspection Service. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Anderson. Meek is scheduled to appear on July 15, 2021, for sentencing at 1:00 p.m. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000 on the bank fraud charges and up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,00 on the false tax return charges. Any sentence, however, will be set by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable sentencing statutes. Meek has agreed to provide restitution in this case.