GREENVILLE — A former legal secretary was sentenced to a year in prison Tuesday following her conviction for stealing from estates administered by her former boss’s law firm.
Lynette K. Foureman, 56, of Arcanum, entered guilty pleas in June to two counts of grand theft, fourth-degree felonies, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
The charge of grand theft was for taking approximately $107,935 from the estate of Arthur Schaub between 2010 and 2014. The second grand theft charge was for taking approximately $24,579 from the estate of Ruth Schaub between 2010 and 2014.
The theft charge was from a second case, in which Foureman was indicted for stealing $2,000 from the estate of Helen Meyer in May and June 2014.
A charge of attempted aggravated theft was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Speaking for the state, County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby recommended an aggregate 24-month prison sentence, citing the multiple victims and long period of time over which the crimes were committed. He also requested restitution of more than $35,000 to Greenville attorney Gary Flinn, her former employer, for out-of-pocket expenses he incurred as a result of her crimes, including insurance deductibles and legal expenses.
Foureman’s defense attorney, Randall Breaden, requested community control sanctions, citing Foureman’s record of being “absolutely law abiding” for most of her life prior to the offenses in this case, with the exception of two speeding tickets. Breaden said Foureman had been in a “home environment that became overwhelming to her,” including functioning as the primary breadwinner in her family and caring for her ailing mother.
Foureman told the judge that she has been “filled with regret, remorse, shame and embarrassment” since confessing to her crime approximately 14 months ago, and she has been living in “self-imposed exile” during that time.
Judge Jonathan Hein sentenced Foureman to 12 months in prison per charge, to be served concurrently, for the grand theft charges, and ordered her to pay court costs on the theft case. She also was ordered to pay $35,478 restitution to Flinn. No restitution was ordered for the stolen money because payment already has been made by the insurance company, Hein explained, and by law he cannot order restitution paid to an insurance company in a criminal case. He noted that the insurance company may choose to pursue a civil case.