Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 19, 2012

Boyd woman pleads guilty to embezzlement

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

IRONTON — A Boyd County woman accused of embezzling funds from her employer has agreed to a plea deal that will keep her out of prison, but requires her to repay the money she stole.

Selma J. Dean, 51, of West Forestdale Road, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to a charge of second-degree engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. A theft charge was dropped as part of the plea bargain.

Dean, a former accounting manager at McSweeney’s Inc., a South Point machining and equipment-manufacturing company, was indicted last month for stealing more than $45,000 from the firm over a five-year period from June 2007 to June of this year.

The corrupt-activity charge normally carries a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison. However, prosecutors said the owners of McSweeney’s didn’t want Dean to serve any time, and she had no prior criminal record.

Under the terms of the plea deal, Judge W. Richard Walton sentenced Dean to four years of community-controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation and ordered her to pay restitution of $46,006.66 to McSweeney’s by Jan. 31. If she violates her sanctions, or fails to repay the money, she could be sent to prison for six years.

According to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Dean’s responsibilities at McSweeney’s included printing off some payroll checks and checks to be distributed to various charities.

The thefts were discovered when a company executive found that Dean had printed checks and entered them into the computer system as being distributed to charities, but that were actually written to Dean. Dean also wrote herself extra payroll checks.

Dean was fired by the company when the thefts were discovered.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.