Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Seeds

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 15, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
ANNETTE SEEDS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 2014 CR 585

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Paul J. Gains Mahoning County Prosecutor Atty. Ralph M. Rivera Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant: Atty. Jennifer J. Ciccone The Ciccone Law Firm, LLC

          Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb

          OPINION

          WAITE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Annette Seeds appeals an April 7, 2016 Mahoning County Common Pleas Court decision finding her guilty of grand theft. Appellant argues that her convictions are supported by insufficient evidence and are against the manifest weight of the evidence. Appellant also argues that she received ineffective assistance of counsel. For the reasons provided, Appellant's arguments are without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶2} From 2010 to 2013, Appellant served in various leadership roles within the Jackson Milton Parent Teacher Association ("PTA"), including president, treasurer, and secretary. The theft charges at issue stem from Appellant's unauthorized use of PTA funds from January 1, 2011 until October 22, 2013. During this time, Appellant served as both treasurer and president of the PTA.

         {¶3} At trial, the state produced bank statements from the PTA's Huntington Bank account showing that Appellant used PTA funds to purchase approximately $320 in fuel, used $261.32 to pay for meals at various restaurants, had $3, 050 in cash back withdrawals and $6, 017.50 in ATM withdrawals. According to the state, these purchases were not authorized by the PTA board of directors ("the board").

         {¶4} According to two former PTA treasurers who served during Appellant's presidency, Appellant refused to provide them with bank statements and financial records, and refused to add them as authorized users on the bank account. At some point, Elaine Akers, a former PTA treasurer, obtained partial bank records from Appellant. Akers became concerned about the account and contacted the Ohio PTA for guidance. Based on the Ohio PTA's advice, Akers formed a new PTA with newly elected officers. The newly elected officers included Sheila Factor, Cari Delgado, Jennifer Koontz, and Brandy Hinkle.

         {¶5} Sometime thereafter, Huntington Bank gave Factor access to the PTA's online account and she obtained complete bank records. After determining that a large number of transactions were unauthorized, she and the other board members spoke to the Jackson Milton School Resource Officer, who contacted Detective Pat Mondora of the Mahoning County Sheriffs Office. Det. Mondora began an investigation and referred the case to Leo Fernandez, a forensic accountant with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations ("BCI"). Fernandez confirmed that Appellant had made thousands of dollars worth of apparently unauthorized transactions.

         {¶6} On June 19, 2014, Appellant was indicted on one count of grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(2), (B)(1)(2). At trial, the state alleged that Appellant stole $9, 648.89 from the PTA. While the bank records revealed other suspicious transactions, the charges pertained only to the fuel purchases, restaurant visits, and ATM and cash back withdrawals.

         {¶7} On January 29, 2016, a jury found Appellant guilty of the sole count of grand theft. On April 7, 2016, the trial court sentenced Appellant to seventeen months of incarceration, all of which was suspended. The trial court also sentenced her to three years of community control and imposed several conditions. The court additionally ordered her to pay restitution to the PTA in the amount of $9, 648.89. The trial court granted Appellant a stay as to her sentence. This timely appeal followed.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1

         APPELLANT'S CONVICTION VIOLATED THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, SECTION 16 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION AS THE CONVICTION WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE AND NOT SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE.

         Sufficiency of the Evidence

         {¶8} The elements for grant theft are found within R.C. 2913.02(A)(2): "[n]o person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services * * * (2) Beyond the scope of the express or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.