Era

A former Ridgway man who was accused, along with his wife, of stealing recently nearly half a million dollars will serve a 10-year sentence to include probation and time in the Intermediate Punishment Program.

William D. Mercer Jr., 53, was sentenced Dec. 28 in Elk County Court to four years in IPP — with three months of it to be served in Elk County Jail and three months to be served under house arrest — as well as six years of consecutive probation, court records stated.

He was granted work release.

While he at one time faced nearly 300 counts, a jury found William Mercer guilty in November of 13 counts; some of the remaining counts he was found not guilty of, and the rest had been withdrawn.

He was convicted of four counts of theft by unlawful taking, a first-degree misdemeanor and three third-degree felonies; seven counts of theft by deception, all third-degree felonies; one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count of conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, a second-degree felony.

In September, his wife and co-conspirator, Kristin L. Mercer, 34, was convicted of one count of theft by unlawful taking, a second-degree felony. She is serving five years in IPP with eight months of it to be served on house arrest.

Court records filed at the time of their arrest indicated that William Mercer — then president and one-fifth owner of MCM Trucking in Ridgway — and Kristin Mercer were using money stolen from MCM to expand another business the Mercers owned, Mercer Auto & Tire.

Both businesses were located at the Mercers’ Montmorenci Road, Ridgway, home.

The online court docket now list the couple’s address as Brockway.

Between August 2011 and April 2014, the pair took part in actions such as forging checks and transferring titles of three MCM trucks to Mercer Auto; two of the trucks were later sold, the initial criminal complaint indicated.

On his own, William Mercer was accused of selling the third truck and a wire feeder machine, court records stated.

The complaint had alleged that Kristin Mercer was involved in thefts totaling $220,723.38, while William Mercer was involved in thefts totaling $496,823.38.

Court records indicate the actual amount of restitution the pair may be responsible for is not yet settled.

The online court docket states that William Mercer owes $999 for costs and court fees; no restitution is stated. The docket indicates that the setting of a restitution amount has been deferred, and a full hearing on restitution will be scheduled if either attorney asks for one.

Kristin Mercer is to pay $944.66 in costs and court fees and a $500 fine; the docket indicates a restitution hearing is pending.

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