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Woman guilty in $1.7M theft case

Judge orders Blevins jailed while waiting for sentencing.

A Moorefield Twp. woman found guilty of embezzling more than $1.7 million from her Springfield employer could spend the next two decades behind bars.

Lisa Blevins, 55, was found guilty Friday of two counts of felony theft and 10 counts of forgery by visiting Judge William McCracken. Blevins chose to have a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

Prior to the trial, Clark County prosecutors offered Blevins a plea agreement: three to eight years in prison if she pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft. Blevins declined. After being found guilty of all 12 charges, she faces up to 21 years in prison if sentenced to the maximum on each separate charge. If McCracken merges the forgery counts together, Blevins could face 11 years behind bars.

Prosecutor Andy Wilson said it was the largest such case in county history in terms of money, length and logistics. The judge listened to 21 days of testimony, and prosecutors presented more than 7,000 pages of documents showing how Blevins stole $1,768,287.93 from her employer, Kreider Corporation, over the past decade. She used the money to renovate her house, buy clothes and cars, and pay off her credit cards and the debt of her children.

Investigators were not able to trace all the stolen cash. Prosecutor Amy Smith said Blevins’ home is in the process of foreclosure, as is the home of her daughter. She asked the judge to remand Blevins to the Clark County Jail until sentencing for fear she would flee. Her attorney, Wolodymyr Strileckyj, said that was an unnecessary step given that his client had appeared freely each day of the almost four-week trial.

“(She) has never shown to be a flight risk. The money trail is speculation in terms of what might be left,” he said.

McCracken ordered Blevins to be held in the jail without bond until sentencing. Several family members who came to court to support Blevins broke down into tears as she was led away in handcuffs. They declined to make a statement regarding the judge’s decision.

A large number of Kreider Corp. employees attended the hearing, filling the gallery to the point of it being standing room only. They declined to speak until after the sentencing, though prosecutors said the workers were satisfied with the outcome.

“The only person who benefited from this theft was Lisa Blevins and her family,” Smith said. “There were a number of Krieder employees here today, and they also expressed their gratitude and their happiness that justice had been served.”

Blevins is scheduled to be sentenced March 17.

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