Felon accused of embezzling $137,000
Apr. 04 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
Previously Convicted Felon Now Accused Of Embezzling $137K
MUNCIE — DIY Group Inc. gave Steven R. Thorn a break in 2003 when they hired him, only 14 months after the former local bank vice president had completed a federal prison term over a fraudulent loan scheme.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Muncie packaging firm gave Thorn yet another break in mid-2009, when company officials determined he had “exerted unauthorized control” over DIY funds, but allowed him to continue working, providing he agreed to repay “some of the money.”
In January 2010, after Thorn stopped making the agreed-upon restitution payments, he was fired, according to the affidavit.
Four months later, DIY officials reported his alleged actions to Indiana State Police. A related theft charge — a Class C felony carrying a standard four-year prison term — was filed in June 2011.
On May 6, after several continuances and a rejected plea bargain, Thorn — now 48 and living in Dayton, Ohio — is set to stand trial, in Delaware Circuit Court 4, on allegations that he stole $137,000 in DIY funds between July 2007 and January 2010.
According to that affidavit:
• Thorn wrote DIY checks to his son after the younger man no longer worked for the Muncie company; issued payroll checks to his wife “which had not been earned,” and at times gave himself “additional and unauthorized payroll and vacation checks.” The total amount of the unauthorized checks was $29,674.66.
• Thorn used company credit cards for many personal expenses, including a family dinner at Vera Mae’s, purchases stemming from his son’s wedding, vacations that included a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., and purchases at a local appliance store and businesses at the Muncie Mall.
Those charges totaled $108,186, the document alleges.
Last July, Thorn and his defense attorney, Lon Bryan, struck a deal with the Delaware County prosecutor’s office that called for the ex-Yorktown resident to plead guilty as charged. The deal placed a four-year limit on any sentence Judge John Feick could have imposed, and specified that Thorn’s sentence would be served not in prison, but on electronic home detention, apparently in Ohio.
Deputy Prosecutor Joe Orick — assigned to the case after the agreement was reached — and probation officer John Bush later recommended the deal be rejected.
Feick on Sept. 26 ruled the proposed plea agreement was “not acceptable.”
Tharp’s trial at that point was set for Jan. 28, but it was later reset for May 6.
As recently as Dec. 18, Bryan reported “plea negotiations are ongoing in this case.”
Thorn’s 20-month federal prison term, imposed in July 2000, came after he was convicting of accepting a $187,718 bribe from a Yorktown man to arrange $1.3 million in fraudulent loans.
Thorn was an assistant vice president and commercial loan officer at what was then NBD Bank when that scheme was hatched in the mid-1990s, federal authorities said.
Despite his criminal record, and the pending charge accusing him of stealing more than $130,000, Thorn has never been processed at the Delaware County jail, records reflect. He did post a $1,000 bond after the theft charge was filed against him in 2011.
From the Muncie Star Press