Hedgeball businessman pleads guilty in felony case

A Mercer County man who just opened up a business in Warren County has pleaded guilty in a criminal case involving his last business venture, but not to most of the charges he faced.

Mercer County Circuit Court records indicate 44-year-old Mark Hockenberry pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of Deceptive Practices. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss eight similar other counts.

Hockenberry – one of the owners of HTO – which just opened in Monmouth and will extract oil from hedge balls for use in makeup and other products – is accused of writing nearly $8,000 worth of phony checks in Aledo last year.

He must pay all that money back in restitution as part of the plea deal, and will have to serve no more time behind bars than the two days he served when he was arrested.

When WGIL first reported on the formation of HTO, many of you contacted us to alert us to the Seaton resident’s alleged deceptive activities while operating a similar business in Mercer County – some claiming they were out money owed by Hockenberry.