Galena woman charged with stealing thousands from LoCI

Last updated: May 06. 2014 4:42PM - 334 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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The fate of a Galena woman who admitted to stealing thousand of dollars while working for a state prison concessionaire remains undecided, following a hearing in Madison County Common Pleas Court on Monday, May 5.

Lisa Ball, 30, admitted to filching money while working for Cleveland-based Franklin Services. But uncertainty over how much money Ball took and whether or not restitution is required left the case in limbo.

Franklin Services provides kiosks in state prisons that convert cash into tokens for use in visiting room vending machines.

Ball was charged with a single count of theft for allegedly skimming at least $47,000 while servicing kiosks at London Correctional Institution between May 15 and Aug. 17, 2013, according to assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins.

But defense attorney Melissa Upthegrove disputed Adkins’ assertion. She said Franklin Services discovered the money missing, fired her client, then withheld final paychecks as part of a restitution agreement. Upthegrove said Ball now owes Franklin Services less than $700 and has a letter to back up the claim.

Adkins and Judge Eamon Costello want to see Ball’s letter.

A verified restitution agreement moves the case from criminal to civil court. Adkins said he’s heard nothing from Franklin Services regarding an arrangement with Ball.

Ball initially told prison investigators she took $200,000 from the kiosks over several months. But Upthegrove said Ball exaggerated the admission and was high on illegal drugs during questioning.

Costello earlier denied substance abuse treatment instead of conviction for Ball, noting the woman held a position of trust and future employers should be aware of the theft allegations.

In other common pleas court action on Monday:

• Zachery S. Foulke, 25, of South Vienna, was sentenced to a year in prison for helping torch an aging barn on Tradersville-Brighton Road on Dec. 31, 2013. Foulke pleaded guilty to complicity to arson.

Foulke was on probation for a Clark County arson at the time of the barn fire. As a result, Costello ordered Foulke classified as an arson offender with regular reporting requirements. He also ordered Foulke to make $11,350 in restitution to the barn’s owner.

• Jeffrey S.N. Blake, 24, of Marysville, was sentenced to three years in prison for attacking a fellow patron of Lee’s Sports & Spirits in Plain City with a broken bottle on Feb. 16. Blake pleaded guilty to a single count of felonious assault. Other charges were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

• Denyse L. Rowe, 46, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to theft and forgery between May 5-6, 2013. Additional forgery charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.

Rowe faces up to 36 months in prison and a $7,500 fine for the fifth-degree felony. However, she is likely to receive a community control sentence, based on the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Costello set sentencing for June 30.

• Jason A. Bolin, 35, of London, pleaded guilty to a single count of complicity to receive stolen property, stemming from a Jan. 23 break-in at Creamer Metal Products, 77 S. Madison Rd. in the city.

Bolin could go to prison for a year and pay a $2,500 fine for the fifth-degree felony. However, he is likely to be placed on community control, based on the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Costello set sentencing for June 30.

• Virginia A. Beekman, 40, of London, pleaded guilty to theft from a family member between Nov. 17-26, 2013.

Beekman faces 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine for the fourth-degree felony conviction. A pre-sentence investigation will determine the woman’s eligibility for community control.

Costello set sentencing for June 30.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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