Poland man facing felony theft charge to be arraigned

Staff report


A 51-year-old Poland man facing a felony theft charge and accusation that he stole from his employer is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Thomas Morris is accused of taking between $75,000 and $150,000 in money, appliances and services from Tri T&J Ltd.,20 E. McKinley Way, where he was employed as a bookkeeper, according to the Aug. 2 indictment. The case was a direct presentment to the Mahoning County grand jury.

Poland Village Police Chief Russell Beatty received the complaint at the end of January, at which time Tri T&J partners claimed the theft had been occurring for about 18 months. Tri T&J is a real-estate investment company that owns commercial and residential properties throughout the Mahoning Valley.

“The situation was that Mr. Morris was a personal friend and they trusted him. ... He pretty much had sole control of the books,” Beatty said.

Beatty said it appears Morris would write Tri T&J checks out to himself and then endorse them to use the funds “for personal gain and to pay his bills and auto repairs.”

In a news release sent to The Vindicator, one of Tri T&J’s partners, Brandon Davis, described the situation as a “bookkeeping nightmare” and said the partners had considered Morris a friend.

Davis said the company noticed something amiss in December 2011, when the company was listed in a Vindicator legal ad for delinquent taxes. He said Morris was fired from the company in January.

“Now we’ve just been waiting for the police to do all of their due diligence. We await the time to bring him to justice,” Davis said.

Morris is being represented by Atty. Robert J. Rohrbaugh II, who could not be reached to comment Thursday afternoon.

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