Industry News

Sentencing Provides Closure for The Wholesale House

HICKSVILLE, OH (01.09.2018) – On Friday, January 5th, three former Wholesale Houses executives received sentencing for their roles in the multi-million dollar scheme to defraud the Wholesale House.

Marcy Keesbury and Mick French were each sentenced to nearly 3.5 years in prison with fines of over $4 million in restitution.

Justin Pennington, the mastermind of the plot, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison with a fine over $4 in restitution.

Keesbury, former TWH President, and French, former TWH Vice President, both of Fort Wayne, Indiana, plead guilty in November 2016 in US District Court located in Jacksonville, Florida, to costing The Wholesale House nearly five million dollars. The mastermind behind the operation, Justin Pennington of Nocatee, Florida, was found guilty of conspiracy and nine counts of wire fraud by a federal jury in late April 2017.

The three co-conspirators were employed by The Wholesale House in executive positions. They, without the knowledge of the owners and fellow employees, started a fraudulent company named 3 Kings in late 2010 which was in direct competition of TWH. 3 Kings would purchase product at deep discounts from TWH then turn around and sell the items, directly competing with the pricing that TWH was offering to their customers. Pennington was the Information Technology Director at TWH and ran 3 Kings website simultaneously. This caused a significant loss in sales for TWH, damaged customer and vendor relationships, while drastically disrupting the industry market.

The scheme came to a head in 2013 when Steve Height, owner of TWH, started questioning French about 3 Kings and their ability to repay their debt. At a meeting in Florida, Keesbury, French, and Pennington made statements to Height and FBI agents about their involvement with 3 Kings and stated that their motive was nothing more than greed.

The Wholesale House is now finally able to close this chapter of the story, one of which they never fathomed writing. “Without our wonderful owners, Steve & Mary Height, there would have been no come-back story possible. They have shown that our TWH family is important to them by investing their money, time, effort, and heart back into TWH over the last few years. We couldn’t be more thankful for their generosity” stated Mark Yoder, President of The Wholesale House.

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