Kentucky accountant with local connections pleads guilty to wire fraud charges

By Gary Scott on October 26, 2015 at 4:20pm

As part of the Friday plea agreement, 53-year-old James Hammes agreed to repay about $8.7 million he embezzled in a wire fraud scheme. According

to the Associated Press, federal authorities agreed to drop 74 other counts from a 2009 indictment as part of the deal.

Hammes was a former controller for Pepsi who disappeared after being interviewed about allegations he opened a fake bank account and put millions of dollars of company money into it.

He apparently had been hiding for years in the Appalachians, and was arrested in Virginia earlier this year.

Hammes was married to Joy Hammes of Waverly, who died in a fire in Lexington, Kentucky in 2003. Investigators determined the fire was an accident after family members raised suspicions about James Hammes’ involvement.