Former shelter manager pleads guilty to fraud

Friday, May 21, 2010

BERRYVILLE --Paul Ashbaugh, the former shelter manager of Good Shepherd Humane Society, pleaded guilty last Friday to fraudulent use of a credit card in 2009.

Carroll County deputy prosecutor David Phillips said Ashbaugh pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a credit card that had been issued for shelter purchases. Ashbaugh used the card to buy personal items.

Phillips said the plea bargain agreement required Ashbaugh to pay full restitution of $3,000, a fine of $500, and court costs. He was also placed on two years' probation. Ashbaugh's attorney assured the court restitution would be paid within 30 days.

"It means we get $3,000 back," said Bill King, vice president of the humane society's board of directors. "Unfortunately, we believe he probably stole considerably more. A court in Harrison is also considering expenditures on that card in Boone County."

Following court in Carroll County, Ashbaugh travelled to Boone County, where he also pleaded guilty to using a credit card without permission, a Class C felony. It was the same credit card he had used in Carroll County, but he had used it to make purchases in Harrison.

In Boone County, Ashbaugh was fined $3,000, given three additional years of probation, instructed to make $585 in restitution, and was served with a restraining order to stay away from the Good Shepherd animal shelter.

King said there was also suspected theft of equipment and debit card purchases in Missouri. He added that the thefts occurred at a particularly difficult time.

"It hit us very hard when the economy was down," King said. "It was really a bad thing."

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