Judge orders thief to pay $35,000 to kids for Christmas - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Charity thief ordered to pay money back to kids

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NEW LEXINGTON, OH (FOX19) -

A woman convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from a toy charity won't be serving jail time.

Instead, she was ordered to pay $35,000 to be spent on needy children for the holidays.

Martha Springer, 64, is the former operator of the Perry County charity, 'Tips for Tots', which gives Christmas gifts to underprivileged children.

She was convicted of a fourth degree felony charge of embezzlement, in which she funded a gambling addiction. Perry County Common Pleas Judge James Luce ordered money be paid in restitution instead of a full conviction.

Attorneys prosecuting the case for the Attorney General's Office wanted Springer to receive a full conviction, as well as restitution payments.

"To steal donations meant for children at Christmas is simply disgusting," said Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine. "Even though the judge presiding over the case chose to grant intervention in lieu of conviction, we are pleased that he has agreed to direct this money back to kids in need this holiday season."

A five-person board with representatives from different community organizations will decide specifically how the money will be spent, with a portion to be used this holiday season.

Springer will be under court supervision for at least one year and also has to complete community service hours.

Tips for Tots is no longer in operation.

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