Indy man sentenced in embezzlement case after spending 8 years on the run

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis man who lived under an assumed name for several years is expected to spend more than seven years in federal prison.

According to federal prosecutors, Jody Russell Trapp, 58, embezzled more than $2.2 million from Shelton Machinery, Inc., a Fishers-based distributor of advanced machines, drill-tap machines, production saws, and band saws.

Trapp served as a bookkeeper for the company from July 2009 through December 2011. During that time, federal prosecutors said he diverted checks made payable to a supplier into his account and fabricated invoices and checks to cover his tracks.

The company caught onto the scheme, and Trapp was arrested in January 2012. In June of that year, he was charged. In November 2012, he filed a petition to plead guilty in federal court, with a change of plea hearing scheduled for March 7, 2013.

Less than two weeks before the sentencing hearing, however, Trapp left his home; the court had ordered him to stay there as a condition of his pretrial release.

Trapp eluded authorities for eight years, living in Utah under the assumed name “Abram Hochstetler.” U.S. Marshals found him in Orem, Utah, in October 2021. He’d been working as an electrician and also co-founded an app focused on geocaching and scavenger hunts.

Trapp was brought back to Indiana to face charges in the embezzlement case and formally pleaded guilty in July 2022.

A federal judge sentenced Trapp to 90 months (7.5 years) in federal prison for wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. Upon his release, he’ll be on supervised probation for three years. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution to his victims.

The FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation handled the case.