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Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Rockford woman sentenced for embezzling $75,000

By Margie Wuebker
A Rockford woman who embezzled money from her former employer was sentenced to one year monitored time and ordered to begin paying $75,000 restitution during a Friday morning appearance in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Jennifer K. Brandt, 41, 311 S. Main St., pleaded no contest Sept. 20 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. Judge Jeffrey Ingraham found her guilty.
Brandt declined the opportunity to speak prior to sentencing.
Defense attorney Paul Howell confirmed the receipt of a $37,500 check from Brandt representing the first installment on restitution she owes.
He asked that probation be in the form of monitored time so Brandt has contact with an assigned probation officer who will make sure the second $37,500 installment is paid within a year.
Ingraham complied with the request, explaining he may lift supervision once court costs and full restitution are satisfied. The judge imposed and then suspended 180 days in jail.
Additionally, Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox dismissed all 83 counts of forgery and theft in a related case.
The amended theft charge stems from incidents occurring between 2008 and 2011, when Brandt took money from New Source Management LLC of Celina while serving as office manager.
Owner Greg Gargis reportedly 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.
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