According to a plea agreement entered in open court, John Cook, 57, admitted in September 2013, he solicited $194,000 in investment funds from four people in Monroe County, Kentucky, to develop a call center. In exchange for investment funds, Cook provided a written promissory note that explained the money would be used for the call center and described an unrealistic return on investment.
Cook created Minority Holdings and Management LLC in September 2014. Cook issued the promissory notes in the name of Minority Holdings. Cook also opened a bank account for Minority Holdings at the Bank of Putnam County in Tennessee.
Cook cashed checks, deposited them in the Minority Holdings accounts or converted checks to cashier’s checks. He used a lot of the investment money to operate the Donoho Hotel in Red Boiling Springs. He spent a minimal amount of investment funds on call center-related expenses. There was little to no development of a call center in Tompkonsville, Kentucky.
Cook transported and caused to be transported from Kentucky to Tennessee stolen, converted and fraudulently obtained checks and money from investors he knew he was stealing, converting and taking by fraud at the time. All payments exceeded $5,000 and were solicited in Monroe County in the Western District of Kentucky.
Stivers is scheduled to sentence Cook on July 31 at 9 a.m. in Bowling Green, Kentucky.