Sterny pleads guilty to three of 29 theft charges
An Ellsworth woman pled guilty Monday in Pierce County Circuit Court to three of the 29 felony theft charges levelled against her.
Her sentencing hearing is set for 4 p.m. Monday, August 4. Judge Joseph Boles announced the other 26 charges were dismissed but will be used for read-in purposes for restitution.
Sterny was accused of stealing more than $170,000 from Ellsworth Ford from July 2011 through February 2013.
The criminal complaint states Ellsworth Ford owners went to police in June after they discovered in March a check written from the business’ checking to a credit union. Upon inquiring, they learned the check, written for $3,917.33, went to Sterny’s credit card account.
The owners explained to police that Sterny was Ellsworth Ford’s office manager where she would enter car deals on the computer, enter service charges, prepare financial statements and, at one point, write checks. Sterny has worked for them since the mid-1990’s, the owners said, when they owned Baldwin Ford as well.
The owners met with Sterny soon after their discovery and asked how much was taken. They said Sterny told them it was a large amount, but she was not sure exactly. Also, at the end of March, the owners were contacted by one of the financial institutions Sterny used. The company thought it was odd that an individual’s debt was being paid by a business check.
Ellsworth Ford owners soon discovered the time frame from 2011 through 2013, how much was stolen and the number of times it was done, hence the number of charges against Sterny.
For more please read the May 21 print version of the Herald.