Judge sentences ‘bad guy’ to 4 years for check scam
By Joe Gorman
Wickie Tutt told Judge Shirley J. Christian that he will spend his four years in prison to reflect on why he is the “bad guy” – and on what he can to do change that when he gets out.
Judge Christian told Tutt during his sentencing hearing Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that perhaps such reflection should have been considered as far back as 1994, when Tutt was first charged with the type of crimes he was sentenced for.
Tutt, 45, was sentenced on charges of complicity to commit theft, criminal simulation and forgery.
Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Brevetta said Tutt would create checks that purported to represent government entities and either cash them himself or have other people cash them for him.
The sentence was agreed upon by prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Tutt said he is sorry for his actions.
“I regret and I feel very terrible about the things I’ve done,” Tutt said. “I’m the bad guy in this story.”
Tutt said he does not want to be remembered for the bad things he has done in his life, and he said he wants to use his time in prison to reflect on that and what he can do to change.
But Judge Christian noted Tutt’s record, saying that it goes back to 1994 and that he was on probation at the time he was charged with the offenses he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for.
“This does appear to be an isolated incident,” Judge Christian said.
Judge Christian said Tutt’s conduct also turned other people into criminals, the people who cashed the checks he created, and she said the fact that he printed checks for government agencies also meant he had many victims: taxpayers.
“What you were doing was taking money out of the pocket of every single person that pays taxes in this county,” Judge Christian said.