Stan Curtis plans to plead guilty to stealing from USA Harvest

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A drawn out battle in the courts looks to be nearing the end. USA Harvest founder Stan Curtis plans to plead guilty to stealing money from the charity he poured years of his life into. It’s a story we’ve been following since the news broke nearly 2 years ago.

Curtis’ attorney Scott Cox did not want to comment on this latest development other than to confirm that Curtis plans to be in court on June 3rd, in front of US District Judge Joseph McKinley to enter a guilty plea.

The news of the federal charges broke on September 26th, 2012.  Curtis, a man best known for devoting his life to extensive charity work, accused of stealing and misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The day after the charges were made public, WHAS11 spoke to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer who said, “Obviously I hate to see that. Stan Curtis has done a lot of good work for the children of our community and the country as well, so when something like this happens, you’re sad really.”

COO of Wayside Christian Mission Nina Moseley recalls the first donation they received from Curtis’ then fledgling charity. “He had this beautiful car loaded down with chili in the back and delivering it himself,” she said.

The man behind the company that claimed to have distributed 435 billion pounds of food over 26 years to those in need, suddenly being cast in an entirely different light. Curtis is accused of taking more than $183,000 from the charity, charging another $370,000 in personal travel expenses, and failing to report more than half a million dollars on his taxes.

When the charges were filed, Curtis was in his 60s and his health was failing. He was hospitalized and in serious condition. By March 2013, it was expected that Curtis would enter a guilty plea to the charges. Instead, a judge ordered an evaluation of his mental health to make sure he was competent to stand trial or enter a plea.

A final ruling from the court came in January of this year. Stan Curtis was deemed competent to stand trial and a date was set, July 8th.

Now, his attorney says Curtis once again plans to enter a guilty plea to the charges on June 3rd.

Curtis also founded Kentucky Harvest and Blessings in a Backpack, neither of which are mentioned in the indictment against Curtis. In fact, none of the charities have been accused of any wrongdoing.

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