Hixson Businessman Gets 42 Months In Federal Prison After Leaving String Of Defrauded Investors; Bazzell Ordered To Repay Almost $2.5 Million

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Hixson man originally charged with defrauding investors of over $2.8 million was sentenced on Monday to serve 42 months in federal prison.

Richard Alan Bazzell appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. Bazzell earlier pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud as well as bank fraud.

The final restitution amount was pegged at $2,493,271.83. Judge Mattice read a long list of investors and the amount they are owed. The amounts ranged from $25,000 to several hundred thousand.

Several of the defrauded investors took the witness stand, including one who said all of their savings were gone.

Bazzell apologized to those in the courtroom, saying, "I failed to safeguard that money. I do hope I can pay them back."

He said, "I was too proud to admit that things were going bad. I should have told them of the situation."

Bazzell added, "I hope one day they will be able to forgive me for the stress I caused these families."

Prosecutor Perry Piper said Bazzell promised those who invested in his TrailSteaks LLC snack food distribution company guaranteed returns of as high as 10 percent.

Bazzell initially would routinely make investor payments, but, by the end of 2013, most of his funds had run out.

Attorney Leslie Cory said Bazzell suffers from anxiety and depression, helping to lead to his business downfall. She said he continued to try to work hard to prop up the business, but it continued to worsen.

She also said he had no prior criminal record.

Bazzell will be on supervised release for five years after getting out of prison.

He must report by March 7.

The sentencing guideline range was 37-46 months.

Catoosa County Arrest Report For Feb. 16-22

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for Feb. 16-22. (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Investigating Shoplifting At Walmart

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying two men who worked together to shoplift a Bose sound bar speaker and a hoodie sweatshirt from the Shugart Road Walmart. The suspects were recorded by store surveillance. The incident happened on Sunday. Two white males entered the store together an loitered for several minutes by an ATM before walking into ... (click for more)

Legislators: Protect Our Students And Teachers

When students step into their classrooms, they are there to learn and prepare for their future. Our teachers serve to advance each student’s education and guide them towards success.  Educators have an additional responsibility: maintaining the trust and respect of their students by conducting themselves professionally and responsibly. The vast majority of our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Every day, without exception, I find a number of “treats” in my daily dose of email. These funnies, and other pertinent information, are sent to me by a myriad of “Internet Buddies” who I repay by sending out some of the funniest that I collect. Think of it as sort of a “co-op” for my readers to enjoy. When The Saturday Funnies began last summer, it was what I still think is ... (click for more)

Baylor Boys Advance To D-II Final Four

Baylor and Ensworth split their two regular-season basketball games with the Red Raiders prevailing by 15 at home while the Tigers won by a dozen in Nashville. They played the rubber game in the series Saturday at Baylor’s Jimmy Duke Arena. The game was much closer than either of the first two, but the home team won again as Baylor improved to 18-6 with the closer-than-it-sounds ... (click for more)

Cookeville Shocks Cleveland, 70-68, In Region 3-3A Tournament

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – As a No. 1 seed, Cleveland had reason to feel comfortable going into Saturday’s Region 3-3A boys basketball tournament against No. 4 Cookeville. However, the Cavaliers figured they were the Blue Raiders’ equal. And they were. Cookeville overcame a sluggish start and then took the battle to Cleveland over the final ... (click for more)