Kentucky accountant who fled embezzlement case to appeal

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A defense attorney apparently plans to appeal an eight-year prison sentence for a Kentucky accountant who spent most of six years as a fugitive in an $8.7 million embezzlement case roaming the Appalachian Trail.

A notice of plans to appeal was filed Tuesday in Cincinnati for 54-year-old James Hammes (HAM'-uhs).

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT') sentenced Hammes June 22.

The eight-year sentence was higher than what prosecutors had recommended. Hammes must also pay restitution and be on probation for three years afterward.

Dlott cited the large amount of money, Hammes' flight to avoid prosecution, and the "collateral damage" he caused to his family.

Hammes pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud, and the government dropped 74 counts.