SIDNEY – A rural Anna couple who served as treasurer and president of the Maplewood Fire Department pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 6, to taking more than $150,000 from the organization.
During Monday’s final pretrial hearing in Shelby County Common Pleas Court, Jason and Jessica Lemly agreed to a plea negotiated case with state prosecutors. As part of the plea agreement, a joint recommendation of probation will be entered for consideration at sentencing.
Also, the Lemly’s agreed to pay $158,396.55 in restitution.
In August, the couple both pleaded not guilty in separate cases regarding charges of theft and forgery from the organization’s bank accounts. Authorities are alleging the couple embezzled the funds from April 2016 through June 2019.
On Monday, Jason R. Lemly, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony, and four counts of forgery, all fifth-degree felonies. Another 22 counts of forgery were dismissed. He faces a maximum sentence of 66 months in prison and $15,000 in fines.
He served as treasurer of the fire department.
Jessica L. Lemly, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony. Mrs. Lemly, who served as president of the department, faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The couple resides at 14382 Amsterdam Road. They were represented by attorney Scott R. Kelly of Sidney.
According to an August press release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were contacted by officials of the Maplewood Fire Department on June 10, 2019, about fraudulent activity they had discovered on the department’s bank accounts.
During the course of the investigation, examiners claimed to have found that the Lemlys had embezzled funds for their personal gain.
It was also determined Jason Lemly allegedly forged the signature of a member of the fire department on multiple checks, with proceeds of those checks going to the Lemlys.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.