Former Springfield, Mass. municipal golf professional Kevin M. Kennedy and high-end home builders Kent Pecoy and Jason Pecoy are accused of multiple criminal counts associated with two residential projects. The Federal government is investigating whether defendants in the case withheld evidence.
A federal magistrate judge on May 4 flagged a long legal road ahead of three defendants embroiled in an already complicated case—a hybrid of alleged fraud by the former Springfield, Mass. Golf Professional and cash payments made to two luxury home builders, MassLive.com reported. Former municipal golf professional Kevin M. Kennedy is charged with more than two dozen criminal counts in connection with fleecing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars while heading up the city’s two golf courses, according to prosecutors.
High-end home builders Kent Pecoy and his son Jason Pecoy—of Kent Pecoy and Sons—are accused of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with accepting cash from Kennedy to help build two high-end homes in East Longmeadow and on Cape Cod, MassLive.com reported. The elder Pecoy faces an additional charge of lying to a bank to get a construction loan.
All pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were arraigned in U.S. District Court in January, MassLive.com reported. The trio had their first pretrial conference on May 4, when it became clear the Pecoys remain under investigation for allegedly withholding evidence when the company was first hit with grand jury subpoenas nearly five years ago.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys held a halting, and at times cryptic, public discussion over the current legal debates between the two camps, as motions and responses from defense attorneys were filed under seal and not part of the public record, MassLive.com reported. However, the outlines of the dispute became reasonably clear: the government believes the Pecoys withheld evidence.
“There were records we felt were criminally withheld in response to the grand jury subpoenas,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Breslow said during the hearing.
The government wants U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson to quiz one of the firm’s attorneys, Stephen Spelman, in her chambers while defense lawyers danced around an attorney-client privilege defense they have apparently raised in their secret response to the government’s secret motion, MassLive.com reported. Defense attorneys also lamented enormous document dumps related to the long-running investigation.
“We received about a million pages of electronic documents … plus 40 boxes of paper records we still need to review,” said Andrew Levchuk, an attorney for Kent Pecoy.
Robertson set a hearing on the motions for June 4, MassLive.com reported.
The golf course investigation burst into the public realm with raids at the city’s two courses, Franconia and Veterans, in 2016 at the peak of the season, MassLive.com reported. C+RB reported on the raids at the time.
The indictment alleges Kennedy paid out more than $1.1 million in cash between 2009 and 2015 to the Pecoys or subcontractors to purchase or build the two homes, MassLive.com reported. The Pecoys then paid a lumber company approximately $600,000 in cash for materials, according to the charges. Over two years, they also paid around $135,700 of Kennedy’s cash to subcontractors working on the Cape house, according to agents with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.
Kent Pecoy released a public statement the day the grand jury’s indictment was handed up in December, MassLive.com reported.
“I plan to vigorously defend myself and am confident I shall be exonerated of these charges,” Pecoy said. “I built two homes in 2009 and 2013 for a client who paid for the work partially in cash and partially by check. I sought advice and was informed that it was legal to accept cash payments.”
David Hoose, Kennedy’s lawyer, has said consistently his client denies stealing any money from the city, MassLive.com reported. Springfield officials scrapped Kennedy’s contract following the raids.