Judgement Day nears for Dothan’s top tourism official

Visit Dothan President and Chief Executive Aaron McCreight has admitted he defrauded an Iowa bank in his last job and faces 30 years in prison but hopes for probation.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. (WTVY) -A presentence investigation that will sway the judge who punishes Dothan’s top tourism official is complete.

Visit Dothan President and CEO Aaron McCreight has admitted defrauding an Iowa bank while he headed Go Cedar Rapids, a tourism group similar to Visit Dothan.

He pleaded guilty to federal charges in January and faces 30 years.

McCreight hopes to instead receive probation, despite manufacturing false revenue projections to obtain a loan for Newbo Evolve, a music and arts festival staged by Go Cedar Rapids that flopped. He is not implicated of personally profiting from the loan.

Following the three-day event the bank got stiffed for $2.3 million, its president got fired, vendors didn’t get paid and McCreight was sent packing.

More than three years later, and long after arriving in Dothan, a grand jury in Iowa indicted him.

Visit Dothan’s Board of Directors stands by McCreight, praising his success in luring tourists.

“The Board reached this decision after careful consideration of the present facts and circumstances surrounding the 2018 music festival event held during his tenure at Go Cedar Rapids in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Aaron has now admitted guilt (and) expressed remorse,” per a statement that followed his indictment.

However, unless McCreight receives probation he will be terminated.

The presentence investigation is a sealed document and cannot be viewed by the public.

McCreight’s sentencing is not set, though likely in few weeks.

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