- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The founder of USA Harvest is set to be sentenced after pleading guilty to tax evasion, mail fraud and money laundering after admitting that he spent donations to the charity on himself.

Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., will hand down the punishment for 65-year-old Hugh “Stan” Curtis on Thursday in Louisville.

Curtis entered a guilty plea in June to taking $183,354 in donations he solicited on behalf of the nonprofit USA Harvest. Curtis acknowledged depositing $164,620 into his personal account and cashing donation checks totaling $18,734 and using the funds for his personal benefit.

Curtis also admitted that from 2005 through 2008, he failed to report to the IRS roughly $341,646 in personal income from donations made to USA Harvest. From 2005 through 2008 Curtis falsely included approximately $353,165 in unreimbursed travel expense deductions on his federal income tax returns.

Of the $553,891.67 in unreported income, prosecutors said, Curtis used about $370,537.67 in USA Harvest funds to pay for personal meals, personal travel and personal entertainment expenses. In total, Curtis failed to pay $270,000 in federal income tax from calendar years 2005 through 2008.

Curtis admitted to filing false tax returns with IRS from 2005 through 2008.

The now-defunct USA Harvest used volunteers to pick up surplus food from restaurants, hotels, hospitals and various other food suppliers and delivered it to missions, soup kitchens, shelters and people in need. Prosecutors said USA Harvest is no longer in business.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, will pay his original organization, Kentucky Harvest, $183,354 in restitution and face prison time. Prosecutors are recommending a 24-month prison sentence.

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