Lighting Rep Agency Founder Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery

The owner of Resource Lighting Group, a Detroit-area commercial/industrial lighting and controls rep agency covering Michigan and Ohio, has pled guilty to robbing three banks and one bakery between June and July last year, according to The Detroit News.

Jeffrey Chaney, age 55, who previously worked as National Market Development Manager for Cooper Lighting (now Eaton) back in the 1990s before establishing his own firm in Michigan, is also charged with robbery under the federal Hobbs Act, which prohibits robberies that affect interstate or foreign commerce, according to the criminal complaint. [Since the bakery uses “products that travel through interstate commerce to produce their goods for sale and engages in interstate commerce,” the Hobbs Act applies.]

In all, there were five bank robbery attempts; in two cases, bank managers who had been alerted to the previous bank robberies in the area, noticed Chaney and his attire [a construction mask, baseball cap, and green jacket] before he approached the tellers, causing Chaney to become nervous and leave. In each of the robberies, a handgun [which proved to be an airsoft gun, similar to those used in paintball] was shown to the victims along with a threat to shoot. In total, Chaney netted less than $15,000 cash.

Chaney was reportedly facing up to 30 years in jail for each robbery; however, the U.S. District judge sentenced him to just over five years (63 months) for each and allowing the sentences to run concurrently instead of consecutively. Chaney was advised to enroll in a substance abuse program during and after his incarceration.

While Chaney established his agency in 1998, a new company was formed in June 2013 that brought together the teams of Resource Lighting and The Lighting Group under the name of Resource Lighting Group. According to the rep firm’s website, its mission is “to represent some of the best, most innovative manufacturers available in our industry, and whenever possible companies that have an emphasis on ‘Made in America.’” [While committing three of the robberies, Chaney was observed wearing a Make America Great Again baseball cap.]

Resource Lighting Group represents dozens of renowned commercial lighting companies throughout Michigan and Ohio. Most recently, it has partnered with ClearWorld, which provides off-grid/on-grid solar LED lighting solutions for roadways, sidewalks, apartment and condominium complexes, retail and corporate parking lots, university campuses, government institutions, and military installations.

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