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Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Woman found guilty of stealing from company

By Margie Wuebker
A Rockford woman, who embezzled money from her former employer, pleaded no contest to a single charge of theft Thursday afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Jennifer K. Brandt, 41, 311 S. Main St., entered the plea as part of a negotiated agreement that included amending the initial charge of aggravated theft, a third-degree felony, to a first-degree misdemeanor theft.
Additionally, Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox dismissed all 83 counts of forgery and theft contained in a related case.
Sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday. As part of the agreement, Brandt will pay $37,500 that day and a similar amount during the coming year.
The plea vacates a five-day jury trial that was to commence Monday.
The amended theft charge stems from incidents occurring between 2008 and 2011, when she took money from New Source Management LLC of Celina while serving as office manager.
The charges contained in the second indictment alleged she forged the signature of owner Greg Gargis on the company's checking account and thereby exerted control over property or services without his consent during the same time period.
The two cases had been consolidated for trial purposes.
Gargis re-
portedly contacted Celina Police in March 2011 regarding alleged improprieties at the business. New Source Management, established in 2002, is the parent company of Dumpsterman Container Service, also of Celina.
Police chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard the case revolved around misuse of business credit cards as well as the company's checking account.
A search warrant issued after the first indictment ordered officers to seize items at the Brandt home that were allegedly purchased through fraudulent credit card transactions.
Celina officers, with the assistance of Celina Public Works employees and Rockford Police, recovered Whirlpool kitchen appliances valued at approximately $6,300.
During the investigation, police reportedly located forged checks and other records that led to a second indictment.
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Additional online story on this date
CELINA - While lightning postponed all of the other local football games in the Grand Lake Area, Celina withstood a two-hour delay and then put on a record-setting performance in a dominating victory over St. Marys on Friday night. [More]
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