Judge denies bail for Harlan native accused of fraud

An accused con man who is suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors in Pulaski County and elsewhere will be detained until his trial.

A federal judge ordered that Harold Carmical Jr. be held without bail, citing the risk that Carmical would not show up for his trial.

An FBI agent testified that Carmical, 62, fled to California in February after learning he was wanted on federal charges, Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram noted in his decision.

Carmical, a native of Harlan County, is charged with wire fraud, mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

While living in Pulaski County in the summer of 2006, Carmical allegedly gained the trust of a number of people, including those with whom he attended church, and promised them big returns if they gave him money to invest for them.

However, Carmical allegedly spent their money on casino trips, trips to Hawaii and big-ticket items including vehicles and a travel trailer, according to court documents.

One couple lost $430,000, and other investors lost a total of about $900,000, FBI agent Matthew Holskey testified at a recent hearing, according to Ingram's order.

The couple who gave Carmical $430,000 said in letters filed in court that the scam cost them their home and possessions, and forced them into poverty.

Carmical broke off contact with the investors in early 2008 and left the area, according to court documents.

He was arrested in California in May and was brought back to Kentucky to face the charges.

Carmical has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is scheduled for trial in August.