PLYMOUTH – A Bourbon woman who prosecutors accused of stealing more than $100,000 from her Argos employer was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty in connection with the case.
Jennifer K. Yeo, 47, pleaded guilty in Marshall Superior Court I to theft and identity deception, which are both Level 5 felonies. The crimes carry a sentencing range of one to six years with an average sentence of three years.
Marshall Superior Court I Judge Robert Bowen gave Yeo a five-year sentence for each count as part of a plea agreement with the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office. Both sentences will be served at the same time.
As stipulated in the plea agreement, Yeo will serve two years in prison while the other three years were suspended. She must also serve three on reporting probation once she is released, court officials said.
Yeo must also pay restitution. While prosecutors and investigators alleged she stole over $100,000 while she worked as an office manager for B&G Truck Conversions, 10478 16th Road, Argos, she was only ordered to repay a little over $88,000 in restitution.
Yeo’s public defender, Plymouth-based Christopher Berdahl, could not be reached for comment.
“Bringing the charges against Ms. Yeo to a conclusion is a helpful step for rebuilding the business of B&G Conversions as well as the lives of the owners,” Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Berndt, who handled the case, said following Thursday’s sentencing hearing. “Once Ms. Yeo’s theft was discovered, the owners of B&G Conversions immediately brought the matter to law enforcement attention. Det. Jeff Snyder, (with the) Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, sifted through voluminous business records to uncover Ms. Yeo’s actions.
“The conclusion of the investigation revealed close to $190,000 in missing funds,” the deputy prosecutor continued. “Although the victim was partially compensated by insurance, there is still a substantial loss to the business, which Ms. Yeo was ordered to pay as a term of probation. Ms. Yeo had previous convictions of a similar nature.
“People who commit these types of crimes are often charming, likeable people, people that are easy to trust,” Berndt said in a statement to the Pilot News. “There can be a tendency among businesses to sweep these matters under the rug for fear of damaging their business reputation by bringing these matters to light. The owners of B&G Conversions had the courage to bring this matter to law enforcement attention, and, hopefully, it will encourage other businesses to do so in the future.”
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