Man at Center of 8News Investigation Indicted on Fraud Charges

A grand jury has indicted Louisa County minister Joe Yancey on six counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

The charges are in connection with a presidential pardon scandal 8News first exposed in April. Since then, the story has been headline news across the commonwealth.

Joe Yancey has repeatedly dodged questions, refusing to discuss the thousands of dollars he's accused of bilking from Roxanne Burnette.

Burnette was once married to Phil Hamilton, formerly one of the state's most powerful lawmakers. He was found guilty in 2011 of steering $1 million in state money to Old Dominion University in exchange for a $40,000-a-year part-time job.

Hamilton, who spoke with 8news by phone from his federal prison in New Jersey, is outraged that someone would prey on his family.

“I think it's disgusting,” he says. “The fact that he has exploited them because of me is lower than low and I have no use for an individual who would do that to another human being.”

Feeling his sentence was unjust, Hamilton's family had been looking for anyone willing to help with his case.

Yancey told the family he was politically connected and could help.

Burnette thought she was working with well-known political analyst Paul Goldman, and his law partner Delegate Joe Morrissey to get a pardon from President Obama.

Documents obtained by 8News show Burnette paid thousands of dollars to Yancey – supposedly for legal representation – but Goldman and Morrissey claim the documents are forgeries and they'd never even met Yancey.

Claiming to have met with Vice President Joe Biden, Yancey told Burnette and her children that a deal had been hashed out to free Hamilton and “A pardon was in hand.”

But of course there really was no pardon and nothing to show for more than $20,000. paid out by Burnette.

Sources tell 8News reporter A.J. Lagoe there are actually recorded phone conversations where Yancey and Burnette discuss the presidential pardon. Those recordings will likely come out in court during Yancey's trial. He's due in court again next month.

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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