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Former company official enters Alford plea

April 13, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

A former secretary/treasurer for Hagerstown Aviation Services who stole nearly $10,000 from her employer over seven years was tripped up when company officials uncovered a series of unauthorized checks last summer.

Donna Sue Humphrey, 42, of 4534 Harpers Ferry Road, Sharpsburg, entered an Alford plea Monday to a charge of theft/scheme and was given a five-year suspended prison sentence.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has evidence to gain a conviction.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright gave Humphrey eight months to pay a lump sum in restitution of $9,529.35 to Roland Funk.

Although unemployed, Humphrey reportedly has a piece of property that can be mortgaged to make the payment, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion.

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Humphrey is involved with a traveling ministry group, according to her attorney, Lewis Metzner. But she will remain in Washington County during the eight months she is on supervised probation.

"If you understand anything, there is a principle in the Old Testament that you want to restore the person whose trust you violated," Wright said.

He said he would have no trouble incarcerating her if she doesn't make restitution.

Cirincion said the scheme went on from October 1991 until Humphrey resigned as secretary/treasurer of Hagerstown Aviation on Jarky Drive in May 1998.

Humphrey's replacement soon needed to get some office supplies and was going to write a check for cash - as Humphrey had told her she did, Cirincion said.

An audit was done and 22 transactions were found in which checks had been made out to cash or to Humphrey, Cirincion said.

"Several cash deposits were made to her bank account on the same days," Cirincion said.

Because she had no criminal record, the state did not seek jail time. Cirincion told Wright that restitution was the main concern.

Humphrey also was ordered to pay $375 in court costs.

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