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Woman sentenced for theft



Published: Tue, November 8, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Canfield woman was sentenced to four years’ probation for stealing $30,000 from a neighbor whose house she used to clean.

Cheryl Balasko, 54, of Montgomery Drive, pleaded guilty June 21 before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a fourth-degree felony theft charge.

Judge Sweeney imposed the sentence Monday, directing Balasko to make the agreed-upon $15,000 in restitution to the victim and to perform 500 hours of community service at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley over the next two years.

Police said she stole the money from a suitcase under the bed of her 56-year-old female neighbor for about two years.

The victim, who reported the loss in February, told police she began saving cash several years ago for emergency use.

When they executed a search warrant at Balasko’s home in April, police said they found large quantities of designer clothes and accessories and receipts showing Balasko paid for the purchases with cash.

The prosecution, the victim and the defense agreed to the restitution amount and to recommend that Balasko serve probation with community service.

Carla Baldwin-Fields, an assistant county prosecutor, said Balasko has no prior criminal record.

“Life is not, and never will be, the same since Cheryl Balasko violated us within our own home,” the victim said, referring to herself and her husband and adding that they have had trouble sleeping since they discovered the theft.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t feel shame for what I’ve done,” the tearful and apologetic Balasko told the judge.

“This was an error in judgment based upon dire financial problems within her own home,” Albert Palombaro, defense lawyer, said of Balasko. He added that his client is remorseful and has accepted responsibility for her wrongdoing by pleading guilty.

Judge Sweeney ordered Balasko to have no contact with the victim and her husband unless they seek contact through the court, and she barred Balasko from leaving Ohio without her probation officer’s permission.

“If you violate any term or condition of your community control, you go to prison for 18 months,” the judge told Balasko.


Comments

1foxyglo(372 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

THATS NOT A SENTENCE, THATS A OK TO DO A CRIME ALL OVER AGAIN

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2steelwagon(284 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow !!!
If I ever get into trouble I hope I have to appear before this judge.
I'll bawl and howl and say "how sorry Iam" and skip out of court free as a bird.

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3fcb(323 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Judge Sweeny strikes again!!!!! Drag a man 100ft killing him. Get 30days in jail/ Steal $30,000 from a poor woman get probation! There's something very strange going on with this judge. Is she living up to the history of Youngstown corruption in the courts. Has she bought a new car or house lately? Not to long ago was another judge named Maureen in Youngstown. She's now in the big house for taking bribes. How does she sleep at night?

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4mammadoll(17 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

i can understand dire financial emergencies at home..altho that is NOT an excuse from stealing money..but to use the money for designer clothes and such..geeze..im sorry but 4 years probation is definitly not a sentence..its a slap on the wrist saying naughty naughty..dont get caught again..ya..there is definitly something going on in ytown courts..

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5walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

How the hell much money was in the suitcase under the bed so that it took the amount of $30,000 for the victim to finally notice? Why would you use a suitcase when you obviously have sufficient funds to purchase a safe? Why would you have so much cash in your home? Why not hide the cash in an outside container with a padlock, by the pool, inside of a bag of bird seed? Interesting that the victims names were never supplied... This in no way excuses Balasko but the victims deserve to be $15,000 on the short end.

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6JERRIE(22 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Does not matter. If his money was on the pouch she had no rights taking his money. Stealing is Stealing I don't care who you are. That judge need to be investigated. Get him off the bench. Judge Sweeney is corrupt want do u expect from him.

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7walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Personally, I would expect Judge Sweeney to put on a bra and panties because the judge is a "her" not a "him" you moron. But, you must know everything so I guess the Judge is corrupt.

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