Ex-bookkeeper pleads guilty to 1.7M theft
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Deborah L. Toda, 49, of Howland, pleaded guilty to aggravated grand theft, forgery, money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity for embezzling almost 1.7 million from a dialysis clinic, where she was a bookkeeper.
"She has a criminal skill that's unsurpassed by anybody else that we've seen in this county in a long, long time," Kenneth Cardinal, assistant county prosecutor, said of Toda after she entered her plea Tuesday.
The aggravated grand theft charge pertains to the disappearance of that sum from the North Central Pennsylvania Dialysis Clinic, and Toda was accused of forgery of 100,000 or more in checks drawn on the clinic's account. She worked in the clinic's Boardman administrative office.
She entered her plea before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Sentencing will be in 45 to 60 days, and will follow a presentence investigation by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. She could be sentenced to five to 25 years in prison and fined up to 40,000.
Her husband's deal
Toda's husband, Paul G. Pollis, 40, also was charged with money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The prosecution entered into an agreement with him in which the charges against him were to be dropped in exchange for his testimony in the Toda case, if needed, Cardinal said.
Vehicles, jewelry and other valuables were seized from the couple's residence under a search warrant last June.
A two-session forfeiture auction, where items prosecutors described as the couple's "ill-gotten gains" were sold this month, netted more than 300,000 to cover investigation and prosecution costs and begin the restitution process.
The kidney dialysis group and its management company have filed a separate civil lawsuit against Toda, Pollis and the employment agency that placed Toda on the job. Toda remains in the Mahoning County jail in lieu of a 1.3 million bond.
She was represented by Atty. Douglas Taylor of New Middletown, who said his client was "diligently working toward" making restitution, but did not elaborate on the details. Pollis sat on a spectator bench during Toda's plea hearing.