CANTON, Ohio – An employee of the East Central Ohio Education Association is discovering that self-awarded longevity bonuses are not only a bad idea, but they can lead to a few years in the state penitentiary, too.
Eva M. Gutwein “admitted on Monday to stealing roughly $185,000”over a 10-year span from the local teachers union where she’s worked since 2002, according to CantonRep.com.
Gutwein faces up to six years in prison for aggravated theft and forgery, both of which are felonies. She will be sentenced Sept. 30.
CantonRep.com reports that Gutwein “cashed checks from multiple accounts, used Chase and American Express accounts for personal use, and forged and used four checks with an ECOEA account number.”
The kicker is that Gutwein wasn’t even “supposed to be handling the money” in the first place, according to Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Hope Konovsky.
Gutwein “paid back $97,000”prior to her arrest and is expected to repay the remaining $88,000 before she is sentenced, according to the news site.
ECOEA President Angela Stewart said the union is “moving forward,” but only after “instituting some best practices suggested by (the forensic auditor).”