Solon man sentenced for theftA Solon Springs man will spend a year in jail for stealing more than $130,000 from his employer, Great Lakes Pipe Service.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
A Solon Springs man will spend a year in jail for stealing more than $130,000 from his employer, Great Lakes Pipe Service.
Michael Leroy Webster, 62, pleaded no contest in Douglas County Circuit Court on Sept. 5 to felony counts of identity theft-financial gain and theft-business setting. Sentencing took place last week.
Webster was sentenced to three years of probation for the identity theft charge and up to one year in jail. He was also ordered to pay $145,802.36 restitution. If the Solon Springs man pays $20,000 restitution before Jan. 1, Judge George Glonek ruled, he will stay four months of the sentence and Webster would only serve eight months in jail and be ordered to make restitution payments of no less than $500 per month. If Webster fails to pay $20,000 by Jan. 1, he would serve the entire jail sentence and be ordered to make restitution payments of no less than $750 per month. Webster was also ordered to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation, maintain absolute sobriety, undergo counseling or treatment addiction related to gambling or pornography, obtain employment, provide a DNA specimen and have no contact with Great Lakes Pipe Service or its owner, Dave Sigfrids. The theft charge netted Webster five years of probation to run concurrent. Webster’s request for electronic monitoring was denied.
Financial problems at the business were discovered in January 2011 when Sigfrids learned Webster had opened an account at a local bank in 2007 without authorization.
A review of the business’ financial transactions from Jan. 1, 2007, to Jan. 31, 2011, showed about $192,000 in unauthorized payments, including $40,000 funneled through the unauthorized account.
Superior Police Detective Michael Jaszczak interviewed Webster, who admitted he would deposit checks written out to the business into the unauthorized account and either withdrew money or transferred it to his own personal account.
Webster told Jaszczak that more than $12,000 in direct payments to credit card companies were most likely for his internet sex habit and online pornography, as was much of what was funneled through the unauthorized bank account.
He also said that during three months in 2010 when he was supposed to be taking a pay cut, he paid himself another check to make up for it.