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Martinsburg man ordered to pay $634,906 in restitution

November 21, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A man who entered a guilty plea Friday morning to one count of embezzlement is expected to pay $634,906 in restitution to his former employer and could serve at least four years in prison.

John Robert Cleminson, 32, of Martinsburg received a one- to 10-year year sentence as part of a plea agreement, but 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III attached a recommendation that the defendant serve at least four years before being eligible for parole, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones said.

Cleminson was indicted in May on 87 counts of forgery and one count of embezzlement, according to court records.

Police allege that between September 2002 and February 2007, Cleminson embezzled thousands of dollars from his employer, Heiston Supply Inc. at 36 Variform Drive, according to court records.

According to an initial complaint filed against Cleminson in Berkeley County Magistrate Court, West Virginia State Police Trooper J.M. Walker said the defendant admitted that he had a gambling problem.

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The sentence ordered Friday is expected to be served consecutively with a nine-month prison term decided last month in U.S. District Court in a related case, Jones said.

In the federal proceeding, Cleminson entered a guilty plea to one count of intent to defraud by using an unauthorized credit card in Berkeley County to obtain goods and services totaling more than $1,000, affecting interstate commerce, between November 2004 and Oct. 31, 2005, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Sharon L. Potter.

Potter said that the credit card for his employer's business was used to make personal purchases of goods and services.

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