Monday, February 22, 2010
Wife Of Ohio County Sheriff Awaits Sentencing In $251K Embzzlement Case
Kathy L. Beutler, 47, of Lima, Ohio and the wife of Putnam County Sheriff James R. Beutler, is awaiting sentencing for embezzling $251,000 from the Ohio Farmers Union where she had been employed as secretary-treasurer of the non-profit family farm advocacy group. Beutler pleaded guilty on September 23, 2009, to a bill of information charging her with aggravated theft. Prosecutors alleged that Beutler made at least 86 unauthorized direct deposit transfers of funds from the organization's payroll account to her personal checking account over a four year period from April 2005 and May 2009. Beutler's sentencing has been twice postponed and is now scheduled for May 25th. She has blamed her thefts on credit card debts she racked up. Sheriff James Beutler has not been accused in the matter. Unsubstantiated reports allege that Kathy Beutler may have embezzled from two prior employers.
Update (11/8/10): Ohio Farmers Union has filed a civil suit against Kathy L. Beutler, her husband, James R. Beutler and others, including the company's accountants, in an effort to recover losses sustained as a result of Kathy Beutler's admitted embezzlement of what is now believed to be at least $350,000. Authorities believe she used company funds to pay personal credit card bills for personal expenses, including vacations and her daughter's weddings.