Hyatt Sentenced for Ponzi-Style Scheme

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

An airplane engine, a motorcycle, and a newly-renovated home ---these were the perks Eric Hyatt 'picked up' from his job at an Attapulgus, Georgia chemical company.

The only problem was that Hyatt got them illegally, by tweaking invoices and billing his employer, BASF.

From 2007 to 2010, Hyatt passed through the company's gates everyday thinking he could get away with stealing thousands of dollars from BASF, but he was wrong.

South Georgia District Attorney Joseph Mulholland who worked the case says, "BASF, through their own internal audits, had been able to find this discrepancy and turn it over to us for prosecution."

Hyatt was arrested in September of 2010 and had the option to spend time behind bars or pay up.

He chose the latter and at a sentencing hearing April 12, 2011 he was ordered to pay back the $132,000 he'd stolen, plus another $250,000 in fees and fines to Decatur County.

BASF issued a statement regarding the quick resolution that said, "BASF wants to thank the Decatur County Sheriff's Office for its work on this matter. We are pleased that it has reached resolution."

Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin summed it up by saying, one bad egg doesn't mean the whole carton is rotten.

He says BASF has a long history and serves as an 'excellent employment base' for the area.

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  • by hugo on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:21 PM
    Sumbag thats all
  • by Sandi Location: Tallahassee on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:48 AM
    To HMA and Billy-- Thanks for making sense! Sometimes a plea agreement is best. We have enough people in jail and prison now that cost us, the taxpayer.
  • by tom Location: madison on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:46 AM
    Social Security is a bid Ponzi also.......Arrest Congress
  • by Anonymous on Apr 15, 2011 at 07:17 AM
    He should run for Governor....
    • reply
      by SICK AND TIRED on Apr 19, 2011 at 06:12 AM in reply to
      i agree.lets see they wanted to get rid of the PRESIDENT BECAUSE they say he is not a U.S.citizen.but then they take a WHITE man that has broken the law,lets see was it FRAUD,or has everyone conveniently forgotten already,but now he's GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA.and look wt he did came in like a thief in night and took away a lot of peoples hopes and dreams,he is a crook, but by any means necessary , to stop the PRESIDENT from cleaning up another CROOKS MESS(or has everyone forgotten about that too.point being if its white its
  • by sick and tired Location: tally-ho on Apr 14, 2011 at 08:30 PM
    i just dont understand why mrs.lewis had to go to jail2nd offense or not,she has kids.why did they take all of her assets and she still had to go to sick and tired of the double standards. this man must have been the fall guy.what have they taken from him?did he have a public PRETENDER(defender)?thank god he was not of another race they would never be free right now if you don"t believe me just go to the court house pic any crt room and have a seat see for yourself whats really going on see who goes to jail and who goes home if you can pay then you can stay baby>>>>>>>
    • reply
      by HMA on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:12 AM in reply to sick and tired
      Most likely this guy was able to stay out of jail because: He was able to repay what he stole plus the fines. He was able to prove that he would not be a danger to the citizens. I believe that he was a long time, high level employee, he probably got some consideration for this. I don't believe that his race had anything to do with any part of this case. I do agree with you on the fact that it is truly sad to see all of the young black men who choose to spend their lives in and out of jail instead of being productive.
  • by bountyhunter Location: thomasville on Apr 14, 2011 at 07:15 PM
    TO: TIR.... people like YOU are people that keeps racism alive. white, black, red, brown or even purple, he "bargained a deal with the system. even other races work deals to get lighter punisment. at least he is where he can pay up for his crime and we the "people" won't have to support him in the prison system. WISE UP! and throw the crayons out the window. this is NOT an issue of color.
    • reply
      by yep on Apr 15, 2011 at 04:15 AM in reply to bountyhunter
      Tir Is Racist..he displays it all the time.
    • reply
      by TIR on Apr 15, 2011 at 03:26 PM in reply to bountyhunter
      Bountyhunter, people like you don't care about racism unless it is directed at a white person. Otherwise I would see your outrage when comments are made when the story is about a black person.
  • by TIR on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:35 PM
    So, this white criminal gets probation, seriously, well, it is typical, afterall, whites never do anything wrong...yeah, right.
    • reply
      by HMA on Apr 15, 2011 at 08:01 AM in reply to TIR
      I am black and live in Decatur Co. Putting him in jail would not keep the public any safer and would cost the taxpayers. I see this as the best solution, no matter his race. You sometimes have valid points, but your apparent victim-conspericy mentality tends to alienate intelligent people.
  • by Steve on Apr 14, 2011 at 05:46 PM
    A rat is a rat! Thanx. Steve.
  • by Billy Location: Bainbridge, Ga on Apr 14, 2011 at 04:59 PM
    I've known this individual for many years. He has always been a very arrogant person who thinks he is smarter and a level above most of us. MAYBE HE'S A LITTLE MORE HUMBLE NOW. I remember the last time I spoke to him (less than a year ago), I said good morning, he ignored and looked past me. I sincerely hope he gets his life back together. It sometimes take something like this to change a person for the better.
    • reply
      by TIR on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:26 PM in reply to Billy
      He is white, what do you expect, duh.
      • reply
        by Billy on Apr 15, 2011 at 04:17 AM in reply to TIR
        So am I! What does that have to do with it?
  • by tom Location: madison on Apr 14, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    We need this prosecutor to go after Social Security
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