A Coudersport woman who allegedly embezzled more than $13,000 from Potter County Employees Union is awaiting acceptance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program in Potter County Court.
Cheryl Ianson, 55, of 463 N. Ayres Hill Road, is charged with two third-degree felonies: theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
According to court records, between October 2013 and August 2015, Ianson received $13,916.48 from the union which she was not entitled to receive. At the time, she was president of the union and employed by Potter County Domestic Relations, the criminal complaint in the case stated.
In October 2017, Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson referred the case to the attorney general’s office. Investigators there interviewed a member of the union who had concerns over the use of union funds. She told the investigator the union stopped performing audits from 2013-2017.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Ianson was paid $13,916.48 for taking “online courses” she said were offered through the national union of the Communication Workers of America and Office of Professional Employees International Union. When investigators checked with the national union, they couldn’t verify that Ianson had taken a class. The same invoices Ianson were given to the OPEIU. That union’s president said those courses had never been offered, the criminal complaint alleges.
In April 2018, an investigator met with Ianson at the domestic relations office. When confronted with the information, Ianson still insisted that she had taken the courses. When asked for a certificate earned upon completion of the courses, Ianson said she didn’t have any, as that would have cost an additional amount and she didn’t think it was necessary, the court records stated.
She refused to acknowledge that she courses were not offered, and the invoices she presented were not from the OPEIU, the complaint alleged.
Ianson was arraigned Aug. 20 before District Judge Annette Easton, and waived a preliminary hearing at the same time.
She was released on her own recognizance.
The case is being prosecuted by Rebecca Snyder Franz of the state attorney general’s office. The defense attorney is George Stenhach.
According to online court dockets, Frantz filed a motion to admit Ianson to the ARD program on Oct. 9 in Potter County Court. There was no further information immediately available as to whether the motion was granted.