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2 plead guilty to embezzling $1.3M



Published: Thu, June 9, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

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Linda and Scott Adair pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling about $1.3 million from Scott Adair’s former business Southwind Trucking Inc. in Austintown. A plea agreement was reached.

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

Youngstown

The Canfield couple accused of an embezzling scheme that afforded them a life of luxury face jail time after pleading guilty.

A plea agreement for Scott and Linda Adair was reached Wednesday before Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The pair are accused of embezzling $1.3 million between October 2004 and December 2006 from Scott Adair’s former business Southwind Trucking Inc. in Austintown, of which he was a partner.

The Adairs, of Canfield, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the charges listed in the plea agreement.

Scott Adair, 51, pleaded guilty to aggravated grand theft, tampering with records, telecommunication fraud and two counts of money laundering — all third-degree felonies. He also pleaded to one fourth-degree felony count of telecommunication fraud.

Each felony 3 charge brings with it the potential of up to five years in the penitentiary and up to $10,000 in fines. The felony 4 charge is a potential sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Linda Adair, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of complicity to commit theft — a fourth-degree felony. She faces up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Assistant Prosecutor Ken Cardinal said both sides decided on a plea agreement because of the time and resources it would take to try the case.

“The case itself is very complex,” he said. “Forty-thousand documents made up this case, and if we started a trial, we would be here for months.”

Cardinal said Scott Adair, the company’s treasurer at the time, opened up a bank account that he could access and funneled company money into it.

He said the couple used the stolen money to pay their mortgage as well as purchase expensive sports tickets, jewelry, vacations and vehicles.

The agreement also outlines a forfeiture specification that Cardinal called a “walk-away agreement.”

“You’ll pack your bags and leave the house intact,” he said.

Cardinal said the defendants have until June 13 to vacate their Canfield home — 5305 Revere Run.

They’re allowed to take only clothing and personal photographs from the house, he said.

“A walk-away allows us to make some restitution to the victims,” he said.

Southwind trucking went out of business because of the scheme, causing 52 people to lose their jobs, Cardinal said.

Ric Barringer, president of the company, declined to comment.

Scott Adair’s former business partner, Barringer, filed a lawsuit against him in March 2009 alleging misappropriation of corporate assets to personal use, breach of contract, fraud and negligence.

That civil case is still pending.

The couple will be sentenced at a later date.


Comments

1Askmeificare(667 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

52 people lost their jobs.

I sure hope these gutter trash, loser thugs get the harshest sentence.

Why couldn't they simply be honest AND hard working?

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2VindyPost(436 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Not so encouraging for the private sector jollies-- 52 people lost their jobs while 1.3 million was embezzled by 2 greedy, selfish, arrogant scam artists. What a shame! Let's take a look at taxes and special columns, here---AUDIT!

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3VindyPost(436 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

*Silver Bars....*Silver Bars...
*It's Summertime in the Slammer!

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4bareback1(41 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

That one seven deadly sin claims a lot of folks. Greed.

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Ken Cardinal never met a case except for a DUI that he wanted to prosecute. 52 people lost their jobs and it was better NOT to have a trial - just don't understand that.

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6Wapiti(139 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Cardinal should be replaced. As an ADA he'd make a good blacksmith. He NEVER wants to do his job. Or should I say he only takes the easy slam dunks.Get rid of him. He's just another overpaid politician.

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7foxyglo(372 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

SO MUCH FOR TRUSTED HIRED HELP. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

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8Lifes2Short(3867 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Useless pitiful low lifes.

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9howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

This is what happens when we as a society place the acquisition of luxury goods and lifestyle on a pedestal and relentlessly pound that message into our communities using every media channel possible. People think that getting and having those goods and lifestyle are more important than following the rules and doing it the right way. "Damn the consequences, full thievery ahead."
This holds true at every level of our society in America from street thugs and gangbangers to politicians of both parties and corporate executives.
Just remember if they were a financial corporation and did this to a client they would be getting taxpayer money to bail them out of a situation that they are entirely responsible for creating.

The "Reality" television lifestyle that is being pumped into our society is killing America; its time to turn it off!

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10captdinger(108 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you just give Cardinal another raise to keep him from leaving.

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11fedupwithcrap(317 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Do you think cardinal is interested in that address after probably seeing it in person or pictures of it??????

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12Nunya(1356 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The rethuglicans and racketeers strike again,..

Not only is this criminal on all levels. However,it's even got inside job and deliberate criminal intent written all over it. This is just another instance where an individual was allowed to rob society blind. By mere virtue of what they " look like " and was therefore facilitated the unfettered ability. In fact it was facilitated so long that it's ruined a number of lives and cost society millions of dollars.

Just like I'm inclined to believe this fraud was a member of the " regional chamber. " Which is the areas organized criminals proverbial money laundering loophole. Which would provide the need and reason this " grand scam " wasn't brought before a trial. Is because of either prosecutorial incompetence.

Or a dire need to withhold the complicit names, dates and actions that would be revealed to the public. To include assistant " Prostitutor " Ken Cardinal, is only an assistant and the " judge " didn't have to approve the avoidance either,.. derive your own inclination from those relevant facts.

Where how this is shaking out I'd side with judicial impropriety. Because this " plea " method doesn't allow identification nor pursuit of any of the other criminally complicit parties associated. As well as under statutes of criminal forfeiture.

The absconders of property obtained by such illegalities isn't given any provisional abeyance. The property is seized immediately and processed for value assessment and sale for maximum value in public bidding to recoup culpable loss,.. and that's not opinion either.

That couple are crooks and yet the handling of how this is contending to be resolved. By compromising statutes, process, procedure and " alleged " prosecutorial manner is criminal.

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13PrivatePeep(1 comment)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Worked for this man for several years. Believe me it was going on long before 2004. Karma will get you every time!! Thank G-D this came to light! Heartless, cold and greedy, jail is the perfect place for these people. Hope they don't expect house arrest...lol!!

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14whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

.... very sure the white collar squirrelled away money somewhere, all together he will probably only sit for 2.5 years and she will leave in 6 months not bad for what 1.3 mil .... pathetic

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15Bplus(103 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@howardinyoungstown
"This is what happens when we as a society place the acquisition of luxury goods and lifestyle on a pedestal and relentlessly pound that message into our communities using every media channel possible."

Although I agree that America is EXTREMELY over-saturated with media on all levels, this comes down to character.
These two individuals probably watched the same programs you and I have watched, but you don't see us out stealing and embezzling for more luxury. Certain individuals in society NEED to stop using media as a scapegoat for crime. This is sort of in the vein of blaming death metal and video games for school shootings. I watch crap on TV all the time, sure I wish I had a million dollar home and a couple BMWs, but I don't want to embezzle money to get those things. So, no matter what, these two made a choice; not because of things they saw on TV or in a magazine...they did it because they have character flaws...apathy, greed, and they're most likely narcissistic sociopaths. I'm not calling you out, you do make certain good points, I'm just tired of the old "blame it on tv" defense.

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16howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@Bplus I can understand where you think I was going for the TV defense, I also feel that is a week argument; and of course the individuals involved are fully responsible for their reprehensible actions, I simply wanted to point out that in an era where Wall Street companies can rip off hundreds of thousands of people and get a government handout for doing it when they get caught and no one goes to jail we are certainly sending mixed messages to our population.
What I was really trying to get at is that we as a society are responsible, specifically consumerist capitalism and that it has turned into our disposable society. Why buy something American made that will last a lifetime when we have been programmed to want the newest latest and greatest gizmo as cheaply as possible. So what if it breaks after 6 months to a year something flashier will be available at that time. To hell with supporting local economies and keeping your neighbors employed. America has 9% unemployment right now because of this kind of apathy, not because of the real estate bubble or financial meltdown.
The reality tv lifestyle is merely a tool that corporations use to saturate our thinking.
If all of the media channels (tv, radio, film, print, & internet started telling people that climate change isn't happening and couldn't possibly be caused by human activities, that over time a majority of people will come to believe that.

Oh wait that's already been done!

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17benny0413(4 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow...1.3MM. I heard about these 2...he started a competing company called Dina-Lind after his wife..and a partners wife. Matson America signed him on. Bet they are thrilled about this! And heard she works for the Canfield Fair too........sad people want something for nothing ...

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18mattdillionjr(1 comment)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

There is one thing that keeps me wondering: while this was going on, where was the partner? Surely, with that amount of money being siphoned off someone would have had to notice at the time. I am not defending anyone, but if you're a business owner/operator/manager and you have any kind of smarts about you at all, you should have nipped this in the bud!!

Again, I am not defending anyone, but this whole situation seems to have taken on a carnival atmosphere

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19mamabear1(2 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Where was the partner? Heh. Probably believing what he was told as long as the bills were paid and payroll was met. It looks as if GAAP were not followed when it came to internal controls, and there was no accountability.

It doesn't take any rocket science to launder money. Small amounts and a few accounts will take care of any excess money you need to hide.

It begs the question too, of who audited whom? The red flags should have been going up when there was adequate revenue from sales/service, but not enough to meet expenses. The first time Adair said they weren't making enough to meet payroll or they had to borrow to expand, that should have been the time an audit was ordered.

I don't think this is over, but at least he confessed his guilt. That puts him out of the picture. No one who is smart will want to take a chance on him now.

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