Friday, January 23, 2015

Former airport board chairman to face sentencing February 12 • Foothills Regional Airport (KMRN), Morganton, North Carolina

The former chairman of the board of directors of Foothills Regional Airport will be sentenced in February.

Randy Hullette is expected to report to courtroom 1 in the federal courthouse in Asheville at 9 a.m. Feb. 12 for sentencing for embezzlement and witness tampering. He is facing a maximum 30-year sentence for the crimes.

U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger will preside over Hullette’s sentencing, according to federal documents.

Hullette pleaded guilty Aug. 21, 2013, to embezzlement and witness tampering after an FBI investigation into wrongdoing at the airport.

The FBI raided the airport in June 2012, seizing files, records, computers, log books and other information. The warrant included records from the airport involving former airport manager Alex Nelson, former operations manager Brad Adkins and Hullette. The investigation revealed the three defrauded the airport of at least $100,000.

Nelson was sentenced in February 2014 to three years in prison and three years supervised probation. He also was ordered to pay $179,781.51 in restitution. Nelson reported to prison in Beckley, W.Va. June 9, 2014.

After reporting to prison, Nelson filed an appeal to his sentencing to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, saying he had questions about the process.
Nelson’s appeal was dismissed in December.

He pleaded guilty in September 2012 to conspiracy, embezzlement and money laundering.

Adkins pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement in September 2012. He was sentenced June 3 to time served, four months of house arrest and three years supervised release; had to pay a $200 assessment; and jointly pay, along with Nelson, $85,305.59 in restitution.

The federal government revoked Adkins’ bond in February after he taped urine to his body to try to pass a drug test. In November, he admitted to taking Xanax, which is commonly used to treat anxiety.

Adkins was jailed in Marion on Feb. 11, 2014 and held until his sentencing on June 3, 2014.

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