By Peter H. Milliken
A man who stole $1.3 million from a trucking company he co-founded and a woman who stole more than $600,000 from a Boardman auto dealership, where she was the office manager, seek early release from prison.
Scott Adair, 53, who pleaded guilty to embezzling from Southwind Transportation Inc., was sentenced to four years in prison in August 2011 by Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. The judge also ordered him to make $706,619 in restitution, of which he has paid $147,350.
Judge D’Apolito has not scheduled a judicial release hearing or ruled on Adair’s current motion for release, but he overruled Adair’s motion for release last July.
Adair, who is at the Marion Correctional Institution, pleaded guilty to aggravated grand theft, tampering with records, complicity to theft and two counts each of telecommunications fraud and money laundering.
Adair’s motion says his release would allow him to give guidance to his daughters, age 19 and 21, with his older daughter set to graduate from Youngstown State University this spring. His release also would allow him to care for his mother-in-law and his elderly parents, who are in declining health, the motion says.
“It is rather unlikely that he will repeat the same anti-social behavior that led to his incarceration,” the motion says, adding that Adair is a “model prisoner” with no prior criminal record.
A trucking company official, who had said last year that she wanted Adair to serve his full four years in prison, declined to comment Tuesday on the current motion for release.
Adair’s wife, Linda, 55, of Canfield, who worked for the company, pleaded guilty to complicity to theft, and Judge D’Apolito sentenced her to four years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.
In the other case, Judge R. Scott Krichbaum has scheduled a judicial release hearing for 9 a.m. April 18 for Debra L. Chance, 42, of New Middletown, who stole more than $600,000 from The Honda Store.
After she pleaded guilty to aggravated theft, Judge Krichbaum found her guilty and sentenced her in February 2011 to four years in prison and ordered her to make full restitution, denying her requests for early release in 2011 and 2012.
In her motion for release, Chance apologized for her actions, said she has been rehabilitated in prison and that her two daughters “are in dire need of their mother.”
“She did the crime. She was found guilty, so she should pay the penalty,” said Nick Siciliano, Honda Store general manager, who added that he wants her to serve the full four years in prison.
Nicholas A. Brevetta, the assistant county prosecutor now handling the case, said he takes no position on Chance’s motion, but his predecessor, J. Michael Thompson, a former assistant county prosecutor, said last year that Chance should serve the sentence as imposed.
Chance, who is at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Franklin Medical Center, would write loan checks to herself, write a phony receipt, then credit her own account, instead of putting the money into the dealership’s account.
Police said Chance also would take cash from the business transactions for a given day, writing a check for the amount of the cash, but pulling the check out of the daily deposit before the deposit was made to the bank.