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$1.7M theft trial stretches into 3rd week

Springfield business discovered missing money after nearly a decade.

Testimony in a case against a Moorefield Twp. woman accused of embezzling more than $1.7 million from her Springfield employer stretched past three weeks, one of the longest recent trials in Clark County.

Lisa Blevins, 55, faces 10 counts of forgery and two counts of felony theft for allegedly stealing $1,768,287.93 from Kreider Corporation over the span of almost a decade. The bench trial before visiting Judge William McCracken — there is no jury — began Jan. 14.

While trials have been known to be postponed or delayed due to illness and weather, Clark County assistant prosecutor William Merrell said this is the first time he can remember a trial with straight testimony taking longer than three weeks. As of Wednesday evening, prosecutors were still presenting their case. It was unknown if defense attorney Wolodymyr Strileckyj would call any of his own witnesses prior to closing arguments.

During testimony Wednesday, Springfield police Det. Edward Icenhour combed through checks and deposits made into Blevins’ bank account. The majority of the checks were written in amounts exceeding $1,000. When testifying what was written in the “memo” portion of her personal checks when Blevins spent the money, Icenhour said much of the funds went to pay for items for her children and to pay a contractor for materials and labor in an apparent kitchen remodel.

Prosecutors said more than 1,059 checks were allegedly forged by Blevins, and that she reportedly hid the thefts by entering the checks manually into Kreider Corp.’s account system to match a legitimate business.

While Wolodymyr did not object to any testimony given Wednesday, he argued during opening statements that it could not be verified Blevins’ forged all 1,059 checks, and the many of the deposits could not be linked directly to his client.

Blevins was fired from Kreider Corp. after the thefts were discovered by general manager John Patton in April. When he confronted her about the missing money, Blevins’ allegedly admitted to taking nearly $30,000 to pay off a credit card. She did not indicate she had taken anywhere near the $1.7 million for which she now stands trial.

Closing arguments are expected today. Blevins previously posted her $200,000 bond and remains out of jail on her own recognizance.

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