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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/19/12
Craft receives probation,
by CHRIS GRAYThe final chapter in a case resulting in the theft of more than $27,000 from the Romeo Lions Club has been written.
Observer Staff Writer
Bobbi Jo Craft, the former treasurer of the club, was sentenced to 180 days of probation and 50 hours of community service for pleading guilty to embezzling between $200 to $1,000, a misdemeanor.
The Richmond resident received her sentencing from Judge James Biernat Jr. in Macomb County Circuit Court on Sept. 11.
Her previous charge of embezzling $1,000 but no more than $20,000, a felony, was reduced after paying $21,809 back to the Romeo Lions Club and resigning from her position at the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said when the proceedings began in February the Lions Club asked for Craft to have a charge on her record, for her to resign and to return the stolen money.
"We're very satisfied with the outcome of the case," he said.
Craft misappropriated funds using 26 checks over a five-month period in 2011. Calls to Craft's attorney were not returned.
Craft's co-defendant, Todd Walker, received a similar sentencing on Aug. 21, though he must serve 100 hours of community service. His charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor after paying the Lions Club $5,308. He used the club's Home Depot credit card to purchase personal items.
Some of the embezzled money was designated for the Peach Festival, but the majority was set aside for Lions Club charities.
"So often when you come across embezzlement and financial scams it is nearly impossible to get that money back, so we're very proud of the fact that we could make a very deserving charity whole," Smith said.
Gary Schocke, Lions Club member and Peach Festival committee president, believed Craft's sentencing was fair and just. He expressed content for everything wrapping up with the cases.
"It's time to put it behind us and move on," he said.