Man faces prison time in basket scheme

September 14, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Jefferson County man was sentenced Monday to one to 10 years in prison for his role in the taking of 100 Longaberger baskets from a Martinsburg woman in a scheme that involved thousands of dollars worth of property.

Gerald Allen McDaniel of Ranson, W.Va., was sentenced on felony convictions of one count of obtaining goods by false pretense and one count of conspiracy.

McDaniel, 34, will serve two one- to 10-year prison sentences at the same time and is expected to make $13,023 in restitution as part of a plea agreement that was accepted by the victims and police who investigated the crimes.

He owes another $43,945 in restitution to other victims in a scheme that included Jefferson County residents, according to Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carmela Cesare.


McDaniel will have five years to make restitution after completing the prison sentence, Cesare said.

All but 13 of the Longaberger baskets, valued at $1,023, were recovered by police, Cesare said.

In a separate hearing, McDaniel's wife, Tina Maria McDaniel, on Monday signed a plea offer letter, which proposes that she enter a guilty plea on one count of obtaining goods by false pretense.

A hearing was scheduled by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III on Nov. 16 to consider the plea agreement.

The McDaniels were indicted in May on two counts of the felony charge.

Gerald McDaniel allegedly told the victim in the basket scheme that they were a birthday gift for his wife.

Tina McDaniel pawned the baskets on Dec. 2, 2008, two days after her husband got them from the victim, police have said.

The victim told police that Tina McDaniel began calling her, asking for more time to pay for the baskets after Gerald McDaniel first called her asking for the same thing, police have said.

The victim told police she believed she would be paid $4,000 for the baskets after Gerald McDaniel signed a handwritten promissory note on Nov. 30, 2008, according to court records.

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