Trial ahead for York City CEO Bill Hynes, accused of stalking, burglary
York City businessman Bill Hynes is now facing trial in York County Court on charges that include stalking, burglary, forgery and tampering with public records.
Hynes, CEO of Think Loud Development LLC and the former CEO of United Fiber & Data, appeared before District Judge Jennifer Clancy for his preliminary hearing on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Through defense attorney Chris Ferro, Hynes stipulated to the allegations against him in charging documents, meaning no witnesses were needed for the case to move forward to trial. The stipulation was for Thursday's hearing only.
At the close of the brief hearing, Clancy set Hynes' formal court arraignment for Jan. 24.
"Today was a strategic decision a few weeks in the making," Ferro said, adding that the stipulation was not an admission of guilt "in any way, shape or form."
"We are anxious to get this case down to the Court of Common Pleas so we can get discovery and continue to take steps to defend Bill against these allegations," Ferro said.
In the news: Hynes is a felon who made news this past summer when York County Sheriff Rich Keuerleber allowed him to park in the secure garage under the York County Judicial Center to attend a protection from abuse hearing in which Hynes was the defendant.
That's the garage where judges and other elected county officials park, including the judge who presided over Hynes' PFA case.
The listed victim in the PFA case is Hynes' ex-girlfriend, who also is his former employee.
According to those documents, state police investigators began looking into Hynes in July, after speaking with the woman about allegations she had made in her petition for a PFA against Hynes.
The woman told police she began working at United Fiber & Data, 210 York St., in August 2014 and that she and Hynes became intimately involved around November 2014, documents state.
In June 2017, the woman bought a house in Spring Garden Township for $205,000 and was given a $55,000 gift from Hynes — through a third company Hynes is involved with at 210 York St., Think Loud Investments LLC — for a down payment and closing costs, according to state police.
Fraud allegations: Charging documents indicate the money was documented as a gift that did not need to be repaid and that Hynes and the woman signed a note stating as much.
"The letter states that the company has previously done this for other employees," documents state.
But in May 2019, when the woman tried to rent out the house, she received a notice that in June 2017 Hynes had taken a second mortgage on the house for $60,000, according to police.
The woman's signature is on the second-mortgage form, as is the signature and notary seal of Hynes' secretary, police said. Hynes' alleged victim told police she thinks Hynes copied her signature from another document and pasted it into the second-mortgage form, charging documents allege.
His secretary told investigators that her notary log — which state law requires her to keep — had no entry for the document in question, police allege. The secretary said she's meticulous about recording all notary transactions and doesn't believe she's missed an entry.
She told police she keeps her notary seal in a desk drawer that she locks at night but keeps unlocked during the day, according to police.
The secretary said that on July 29, Hynes told her she needed to testify at his PFA hearing that she notarized the second-mortgage document, police allege.
Stalking charge: Court documents allege Hynes illegally attached a tracking device to the car of his ex-girlfriend/ex-employee, which was found Jan. 28 of this year by service technicians doing work on her car.
The woman told investigators she broke up with Hynes and told him she was resigning in June 2018, documents state.
Investigators tracked the GPS device to Hynes and learned it recorded tracking data for the vehicle's movements from April 26, 2018, to Jan. 29 of this year, charging documents allege.
There was a monthly plan associated with the tracker, according to documents.
Assault allegation: Charging documents also allege that when the woman told Hynes in June 2018 that she was breaking up with him and quitting her job, they were in her home and that Hynes took her cellphone and threw it, kicked a Styrofoam cooler, then picked up an unidentified object and threw it at the woman.
The woman ran downstairs toward her front door, yelling for Hynes to get out, police said.
"Hynes ran after her and caught up with her at the entry way to the residence," documents allege. "He grabbed the back of her neck and pushed her face first into a wall multiple times. She was then able to open the door and pushed him out of the residence."
About midnight July 5, 2018, the woman was awakened by the Nest security app on her cellphone, and a Nest camera showed Hynes walking upstairs, police said, adding he began yelling for the woman.
Camera deactivated? "As he was walking up the stairs, the camera went blank," documents state. "Hynes (later) admitted to her that the camera stopped working because he had a device called a 'scrammer' that would have disconnected her wifi."
The woman told investigators that by that time, they were broken up, he shouldn't have had a key to her home and he wasn't authorized to be there, police said. She also said she locked her doors before going to bed.
"She stayed quiet at first, but when he got to her bedroom door, she told him to go away and that he was scaring her," charging documents state. "The (bedroom) door was locked. She retreated to her bedroom en suite ... (where) she heard him force his way into the bedroom."
She then yelled that she'd called police, which wasn't true, but which caused Hynes to curse at her and leave the home, police allege.
Cyber harassment? The three-year PFA against Hynes, granted on July 29, forbids him from having any contact with his ex and also forbids him from making remarks about her on social media, police said.
Police allege someone on Facebook using the name "Jon Hoch" posted comments about the woman under a link to a news article about the PFA.
"The comment related personal details about the (woman) and her family," charging documents allege.
Investigators found a number of posts and comments on Facebook from the "Jon Hoch" profile, which used a photo of a Colorado man whose name isn't Jon Hoch, according to police.
Police learned the comments made by the "Jon Hoch" profile came from a Think Loud computer IP address, documents state, and that the account had searched for the woman's name more than a hundred times between January and August of this year, documents state. The profile also searched "numerous times" for people associated with her, police said.
The "Jon Hoch" profile also sent the woman a friend request, documents allege.
The charges: Hynes, 47, of the 200 block of York Street in York City, remains free on bail, charged with the felonies of burglary, criminal trespass, theft by deception, forgery and tampering with public records.
He also is charged with the misdemeanors of stalking, simple assault, harassment and record-tampering, plus the summary offenses of harassment and criminal mischief. Pennsylvania's crime code can have different gradings for the same criminal charge, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime.
He also is charged with indirect criminal contempt for allegedly violating the terms of the three-year protection from abuse order against him.
Hynes is a felon, having been found guilty of the third-degree felony of theft by deception in Northampton County on Sept. 15, 2010, according to court records.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.