A man who stole nearly $46,000 from his mother’s bank account by writing checks to himself was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay her back.
Richard Burton, 42, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft in Clark County Common Pleas Court. Judge Richard O’Neill sentenced Burton to prison.
“The court further finds that after considering the factors set forth …. a prison term is consistent with the purposes and principles of sentencing,” a judgment entry says. “And the defendant is not amenable to an available community control.”
Law enforcement began their investigation when a woman called the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in early November about numerous checks being written out of her bank account. Burton was allegedly writing checks to himself out of her account, according to a police report.
Some of the checks were written out to her and then cashed by her; however, the woman told police she is in a nursing home and doesn’t go to the bank. Burton would also allegedly get the bank statements before she could see them, the victim told police. She told police Burton has not been given permission to write checks from her bank account.
The victim told police Burton had previously been arrested for using a credit card without permission. Burton served prison time between October of 2016 and March of 2017 and no questionable checks were written during that period, the report said. However, three days after being released from prison, a check was written to him and cashed on March 23. The checks were cashed at various banks and payday loan stores, the report said.
Burton told police the woman knew he was writing the checks and had the woman’s permission, but said he is not listed on the account and had never signed a signature card authorizing him to sign the checks, the report said.
He pleaded to the felony in early July.
He was sentenced Aug. 2.
O’Neill wrote in the judgment entry that the crime is serious.
“The court further finds that a combination of community control sanction would demean the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and its impact on the victim, that a sentence of imprisonment is commensurate with the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and its impact on the victim and that a prison sentence does not place an unnecessary burden on the state governmental resources,” the entry says.
Burton was given credit for time served as he’s been jailed in Clark County since December.
“The defendant is ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $45,928 to (his mother) through the Clark County Probation Department plus a 5 percent handling fee,” the judgment says.