Former Judge Exec. Vickie Viniard Pleads Guilty
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - Former Ballard County Judge-Executive Vickie Viniard will learn her sentence for fraud and other charges in a few months.

Viniard, who is 61, appeared before Judge Thomas B. Russell in Paducah's Federal Courtroom on Monday with her attorney, Butch Bradley. She pleaded guilty to bank fraud, wire fraud, and two counts of making false statements on loan applications. 

In court, Viniard admitted that she took out five loans on behalf of the county without the permission of the Ballard County Fiscal Court, and lied to bank officials in order to get the loans approved. The loans totaled around $450,000.

Viniard was indicted in November, along with former Ballard County Treasurer Belinda Foster, who pleaded guilty in December. The borrowed money was concealed from County Magistrates by Foster, who put it back into the budget as payroll tax receipts. In court, Judge Russell made it clear that Viniard took none of the money for herself. 

The maximum sentence for Viniard's charges is 110 years in jail, $1,250,000 in fines, and 5 years' supervised release. Combined, both women will have to pay at least $21,000 in restitution. 

Foster's sentencing had been postponed until after Viniard's trial, but with the plea agreement, Judge Russell announced that Viniard will be sentenced on November 16 at 11 am.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nute Bonner, who represented the government in the case, said it's possible that both women will now be sentenced at the same time. 

While leaving the courthouse Viniard was asked if she was glad the ordeal was over. She nodded her head but did not speak as she and her husband walked over to friends who were waiting on the sidewalk.

Viniard was elected Ballard County Judge-Executive in November 2006 and served until she retired in June 2017. Prior to that, she served eight years as a Magistrate on the Fiscal Court.

Published 02:48 PM, Monday Aug. 07, 2017
Updated 05:38 AM, Wednesday Aug. 09, 2017

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