By Ed Runyan
A judge has granted a temporary restraining order, freezing the bank accounts of a 28-year-old North Bloomfield woman accused of embezzling $101,117 from her employer.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court froze the accounts of Alicia M. Sardich, of 1760 Kinsman Road, and her grandparents, Wilber E. McAlister and Louise E. McAlister, both of Fowler.
The order followed a complaint filed with the court by Trumbull Contracting Corp. and Keystone Recycling, both of 4474 Youngstown- Kingsville Road in Fowler Township, which said Sardich took the money from the company over a nine-month period. The company is just north of Everett Hull Road.
Sardich worked as the secretary and bookkeeper for the company from January 2012 until earlier this month, when the company discovered financial discrepancies and fired her, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit sought to freeze the bank accounts to prevent Sardich and the McAlisters from further using, disposing of, transferring, removing or otherwise controlling money taken from the companies.
Sardich entered innocent pleas last week in Central District Court in Cortland to felony charges of forgery and theft related to the allegations. She was released after posting $5,000 bond and returns to court May 8.
The McAlisters were not charged.
The lawsuit says Sardich forged company checks totaling $97,107 written out to herself, the McAlisters or 717 Credit Union “for her own personal financial gain,” according to the suit. She also charged unauthorized expenses to the companies’ credit card accounts of $4,011, the suit alleges.
In a police report, a deputy with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office said he talked to Sardich about the allegations, and she admitted taking the money because she has a gambling problem.
Sardich was convicted in September 2012 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court of felony robbery and sentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting a Kohl’s loss-prevention officer and stealing $248 in store merchandise Oct. 4, 2011.
Howland police charged her after the employee at Kohl’s, 2350 Niles-Cortland Road, reported that Sardich caused a puncture wound to her face during a confrontation in the Kohl’s parking lot.
The worker said she witnessed Sardich conceal merchandise before walking out of the store.
When the employee confronted Sardich in the parking lot, Sardich punched the worker four times in the face with keys in her hand, causing the injury.
The worker was able to get Sardich’s purse, however, which contained the merchandise plus three prescription bottles and other identifying information, Howland police said.
Sardich, who was using the name Alicia Rice-Sardich at the time, was bound over to the Trumbull County grand jury Jan. 20, 2012, about the time she was hired by Trumbull Contracting and Keystone Recycling.
She was indicted Feb. 28, pleaded guilty Aug. 6 and was sentenced Sept. 25.