Woman who stole $60,000 sentenced
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
A woman who stole a large sum of money from Westwood Car Wash while general manager of the local business was among those sentenced during hearings held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.
Betsy Bollenbacher, 39, of Rockford, was sentenced to five years of community control, which can be reduced to three years if she makes restitution to her former employers in that time period. Bollenbacher, who stole more than $60,000 while general manager of Westwood Car Wash, was ordered to pay back $10,583.20, the amount not covered by the car wash’s liability insurance.
Bollenbacher’s attorney, James Tesno, said his client was truly remorseful and acknowledged that she had “crossed over the line” in taking the money while managing the local car wash.
Prior to sentencing, Bollenbacher made a tearful statement during the hearing, apologizing to her former employers, who were in attendance. “I apologize for hurting you and letting you down,” she told them, while thanking them for mentoring her and also acknowledging that she was the only person to blame for her problems.
According to court documents, Bollenbacher took the money over a 2½-year period from May 2010 to November 2012.
Because of state sentencing guidelines, Bollenbacher was not eligible for an initial prison term, but Judge Charles D. Steele did give her 60 days of electronically monitored house arrest, which could translate to jail time if she does not meet guidelines for that program.
The judge deferred a 12-month prison term pending the successful completion of Bollenbacher’s community control sentence.
Also sentenced Wednesday were the following:
Patricia Bigham, 29, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control on four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each a third-degree felony offense. As part of her community control, Bigham must serve 90 days on electronically monitored house arrest, undergo a substance abuse assessment and treatment, and her driver’s license was suspended for six months.
Bronson Pate, 31, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control, including 90 days on house arrest, and a six-month driver’s license suspension during his sentencing on one count of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony offense.
Audrey Houser, 34, of Van Wert, was sentenced to three years of community control on a charge of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree. She also was given 30 days on house arrest, a six-month driver’s license suspension and was ordered to pay $120 in restitution to the Van Wert Police Department.
Eva Leiendecker, 26, of Venedocia, was given three years of community control on two counts of assault, each a fourth-degree felony offense, and one count of vandalism, a felony of the fifth degree. She must spend up to six months in the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima as part of her sentence, and must pay $759.83 in restitution to the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department.
Two people also appeared in court on charges they violated their community control sentences.
Tiffany Wolford, 22, of Van Wert, admitted to violating her probation by refusing to go to the WORTH Center for treatment, but said she had reconsidered and would like to attend the center. Judge Steele granted the request and resentenced her to three years of community control, with the added WORTH Center treatment.
Stacy Young, 36, of Van Wert, admitted to violating her probation by testing positive for the use of morphine. She was resentenced to three years of community control, and must also serve an additional 24 days in jail, starting immediately.
Four people also appeared in Common Pleas Court to change their pleas on a variety of charges.
Nathan Wappelhorst, 31, of Van Wert, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, while a second count was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled for Wednesday, April 24.
Ashley Gentry, 30, of Van Wert, entered a plea of guilty to one count each of trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin, both felonies of the fifth degree. She also admitted to using a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer in commission of the crime and that she had $510 in cash that was related to her drug trafficking. She then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction, although the money and vehicle were ordered forfeited to the State of Ohio.
Donald Oday, 36, of Van Wert, pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in marijuana, a fifth-degree felony. He also requested treatment in lieu of conviction, which was granted by Judge Steele.
Matthew Brown, 51, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of possession of drugs, with the specification that he used a 2001 Oldsmobile in the commission of the crime. A second count of the drug possession was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.