The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

October 24, 2012

Embezzlement sentencing continued

By C.V. Moore
The Register-Herald

FAYETTEVILLE — The sentencing of a woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from Bandy’s Sunoco in Lookout was continued on Monday because the two sides are in disagreement about the amount stolen.

That left a courtroom full of Bandy’s employees who came to watch the sentencing very disappointed.

The victims, Kent and Becky Bandy, say Elizabeth “Lynn” Chapman-Jolly embezzled $695,000 over six years from their business.

Chapman-Jolly admits she took money in a guilty plea signed Aug. 28, but says it was in the $60,000 to $75,000 range. Her plead deal said she must make full restitution, but the amount was not indicated.

Without agreement on the amount of restitution due, the court could not complete the sentencing.

The Bandys sent out a press release prior to the sentencing “to let all business owners know ... this is an issue all of us face every day in the running of our business.”

“An employee at any time may decide to take what is not rightfully theirs without regard to the impact on your business, customers and family and put you in the same situation we find ourselves,” they wrote.

“We need our county officials to realize the seriousness of this crime and make certain that those who commit this crime are punished appropriately.”

Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Carl Harris asked Judge Charles Vickers, who is presiding over the case, to make the restitution amount whatever amount comes out of a civil case now unfolding in Fayette County Circuit Court.

But neither he nor the judge knew of any basis for doing so in statute, hence the continuance.

A hearing in the civil case followed the planned sentencing. The Bandys’ lawyer, Tom Rist, made a motion for summary judgment, which was denied.

Judge Vickers says there is still the matter of the amount embezzled to decide. An analysis by a forensic accountant has not yet been performed on the Bandys’ accounting books, which they say prove without a doubt the amount taken.

The civil trial has not yet been scheduled.

— E-mail: