A jury on Thursday found 50-year old Michael Scott Hoover guilty of two counts of production and one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over the two-day trial.
A sentencing date hasn’t been set, but production of child pornography carries a mandatory sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison per count and a $250,000 fine. Possession of child porn carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Hoover is in federal custody at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte as he awaits sentencing in federal court.
A witness testified that an internal investigation by Wells Fargo, Hoover’s employer at the time, found the child porn on his work cell phone. Hoover worked in information technology (IT) for Wells Fargo. Videos and photos of minor males as young as 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct were recovered from the phone, according to evidence in the trial.
Hoover is scheduled for trial on the related state charges in the May 3 session of Wilkes County Superior Court. These include 23 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 19 counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts apiece of attempted statutory sex offense and first-degree sexual offense.
The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hoover in August 2019 on his initial sex offenses charges, which involved four victims. In November 2019, more state charges were filed in connection with offenses involving three other juveniles.
Story: Wilkes Journal Patriot