Martin M. Feldner, 55, of South Carolina, recently pleaded guilty to a nine-count criminal indictment that alleges his engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity to embezzle more than $750,000 from his former employer. (Tusco TV)
NEW PHILADELPHIA (Tusco TV) - A former West Lafayette man accused of embezzling more than $750,000 from the Addy Funeral Home is facing possible prison time after pleading guilty to a nine-count criminal indictment.
55-year-old Martin M. Feldner of South Carolina entered the plea Friday when he appeared in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court for arraignment. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer says the felony indictment against him includes a single count of embezzlement and four pairs of related charges of varying degrees and penalties.
"Mr. Feldner was indicted with embezzlement and four counts of [engaging in] corrupt activity and four counts of forgery, from felonies of the first degree all the way down to a felony of the fourth degree," he says.
Judge Edward O'Farrell proceeded to find Feldner guilty on the charges but agreed not to sentence him until a related civil case against his wife has been resolved. Styer says there was no negotiated plea agreement so Feldman still faces up to the maximum possible sentence of 38 years in prison.
"His sentencing will be set for a later date. There was no plea bargain as to the sentence, and I anticipate we’ll both be arguing for opposite ends of the range at sentencing," he says.
The judge agreed to release Feldner on his own recognizance in exchange for his promise not to challenge extradition should he fail to appear for sentencing.
O’Farrell presided over the civil case against Feldner and ordered a $2.3 million judgment in favor of the funeral home. The civil trial for Feldner’s wife, Julie, originally was set to begin next week in the same courtroom but it had to be postponed due to a scheduling conflict.