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Former Wells Fargo employee sentenced to 70 years in prison for child pornography

Michael Hoover, 52, of Wilkesboro will also be subjected to a lifetime of supervised release and must register as a sex offender
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(piqsels)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A former North Carolina Wells Fargo Information Technology employee was sentenced to 70 years in prison for child pornography charges, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Michael Hoover, 52, of Wilkesboro will also be subjected to a lifetime of supervised release and must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. He was also ordered to pay special assessments totaling $132,300.

According to court documents, evidence was presented at trial and witness testimony between June 2018 and August 2019. Hoover used his work cell phone from Wells Fargo to produce images and videos of two minor males, as young as 12-years-old, engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

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The photos were found during an internal investigation by Wells Fargo and he was fired immediately by the company.

“Hoover is a predator who exploited innocent children entrusted in his care for his sexual gratification,” U.S. Attorney Dena King said. “I commend the prosecutors and investigators who worked hard on this case to ensure that Hoover is held accountable for his repugnant conduct. Thanks to their efforts, Hoover will spend decades behind bars, serving the longest prison sentence ever imposed on a child predator in this district.”

According to information at the sentencing hearing, Hoover sexually abused at least eight minors over the course of more than 10 years. Some happened at his home and in his vehicle. Abuse also occurred during camping and other overnight trips in which Hoover had volunteered to take the victims as a chaperone.

A federal jury found Hoover guilty of two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Special Agent in Charge Ronnie Martinez said Hoover is a serial child predator and has stolen the innocence of multiple young victims.

“Hoover is a predator who exploited innocent children entrusted in his care for his sexual gratification,” Martinez said. “I commend the prosecutors and investigators who worked hard on this case to ensure that Hoover is held accountable for his repugnant conduct.”

Wilkes County Sheriff Chris Shew added that the sentencing sends a clear message that these acts will not be tolerated.

“The innocence of our youth should never be violated and the community is a safer place today,” Shew said.

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