Kentucky accountant who fled embezzlement case to appeal

CINCINNATI (AP) — A defense attorney apparently plans to appeal after an Ohio judge recently handed down an eight-year prison sentence for a Kentucky accountant who spent most of six years as a fugitive in an $8.7 million embezzlement case roaming the Appalachian Trail.

A notice of plans to appeal was filed Tuesday in Cincinnati for 54-year-old James Hammes (HAM’-uhs).

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT’) sentenced him June 22.

The eight year sentence was higher than what prosecutors had recommended. Hammes must also pay restitution and be on probation three years afterward.

Dlott cited the large amount of money, his flight to avoid prosecution, and the “collateral damage” he caused to his family.

Hammes pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud, and the government dropped 74 counts.