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Publisher waives hearing on fraud charge

April 26, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One of the publishers of a short-lived weekly Berkeley County newspaper on Monday waived a preliminary hearing on a fraud charge.

Judith Carlberg was charged with felony fraud last month after employees of The Paper were not paid, police said. The newspaper folded shortly after it was started last fall.

Carlberg is free on $60,000 bond.

The case against Carlberg will be presented to a Berkeley County grand jury in May or October, said Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely.

A decision on presenting the case to the grand jury will be made in early May and will depend on the status of the investigation, said Games-Neely.

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The next grand jury meets May 18 in Berkeley County and Games-Neely said she has not had a chance to review Carlberg's case.

Conviction on a felony fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Carlberg and Judith Edens, Carlberg's founding partner with The Paper, are named in a civil lawsuit filed by former employees who complained they had not been paid.

The suit, filed in Berkeley County Circuit Court, alleges Carlberg told former employees there was a mistake in wiring money for wages from bank accounts in the Midwest to One Valley Bank.

The lawsuit also claims Carlberg told workers that money for wages was delayed by an IRS audit.

seeking their unpaid wages and compensatory damages for annoyance, inconvenience and embarrassment they have suffered, the suit said.

The Paper operated from an office in the Berkeley Plaza along U.S. 11 north.

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