ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
- Amber Watson
- Christian Hauser
- Elyse Coulter
- Hilary Zalla
- Kelly May
- Kristine Frazao
- Natasha Williams
- Nicole Grigg
- Rhonda Moore
- Ann Reynolds
Low: 40 Winds: S 5-10 mph
Sunday: Warmer and cloudy, rain returns early afternoon.
High: 54 Winds: SE 10-15 mph
Monday: Scattered rain continues.
Attorney Accused of Stealing From Elderly
PREBLE COUNTY -- A local attorney appeared in Court today, but needed his own representation. James Thomas Jr., 38, of Brookville, pleaded no contest to a bill of information Wednesday morning charging him with three counts of theft from an elderly person or disabled adult and three counts of falsification. After accepting the no contest plea, visiting Judge Neal Bronson found him guilty of the charges.
Thomas has stood before a judge many times before, but never like Wednesday. Rocking back and forth, clinching his wrist, the lawyer appeared visibly shaken knowing he could face almost 5 years in prison.
"By entering a plea of no contest you're giving up your right to have the allegations of the bill be heard by a jury," said Judge Neal Bronson.
The charges were filed after an investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) found that Thomas took more than $208,000 from four victims' bank accounts between 2007 and 2013. The victims, who range in age from 41-72, are all Preble County residents.
"As guardian of their estates, it was this defendant's job to protect these individuals from financial exploitation, but the investigation found that he regularly used their bank accounts as his personal ATM," said Attorney General DeWine. "Those who prey on Ohio's vulnerable citizens should be on notice that we will do everything we can to protect our elderly and disabled citizens from those who take advantage of them."
The falsification charges relate to the filing of false documents associated with the guardianships in Preble County probate court.
"It's surprising that someone could get a law degree, somebody like that," said Tony Colt of Vandalia. "You wouldn't expect that from a lawyer that's terrible."
After pleading no contest, Judge Bronson found him guilty of all six charges of theft and filing false documents. Still some people in court felt they needed to come to his defense.
"I was shocked by it because he does so much work for free," said an anonymous friend. "I can't imagine he would do anything that would jeopardize peoples money sometimes he doesn't take any money for a case."
Thomas will be back here on June 17, 2014 for his sentencing.
The Attorney Generals office says the two biggest things you can do to protect yourself are to hold on to your receipts and check statements regularly.
We've listed more tips on how to protect yourself and your family members from fraud.
Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.
The Ferguson Decision
Miami Valley Crime StoppersIf you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
Border CrisisGet the latest developments on the border control issue!
Chefs CornerWe often invite local chefs into our studio kitchen to demonstrate their cooking techniques and recipes. Watch those video segments on this page.
Pay It ForwardRiver Valley Credit Union, FOX45, and ABC22 recognize the good deeds of people and organizations who make the Miami Valley a better place.
Health Care ReformThe Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
Secrets Of A ThiefWe expose the "Secrets Of A Thief". Sponsored by Shiver Security.
Cool SchoolsOur children are the way of the future and it all starts with our schools. Join us as our Hilary Zalla goes inside schools around the Miami Valley to find out what cool things students and teachers are ...
Town HallJoin in as our expert panel discusses jobs in Ohio
No Text ZoneTexting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE.
Washington TimesPolitics, Breaking News, US and World News.
On Time TrafficGet the latest traffic information and updates here!
School ClosingsGet the list of all closings and delays for schools and businesses within the area, and sign up for text alerts!
Save Local TVFind out how you can save local TV right here!
Raw NewsWatch raw, unedited and uncensored news stories right here!
Pump PatrolFind the lowest gas prices, check out local and national price trends, report low prices and get fuel saving tips!
Political PulseArmstrong Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates.
News LinksThese links were chosen by the newsroom for their newsworthy content. These sites enhance the news stories that aired on the newscast on the dates cited.
Menard's Around the HouseMenards Around the House how-to videos give you tips for those much needed home improvements!
On the MoveGet the latest news and more on your mobile phone!
Good MorningIt's Fun, it's fresh, the way mornings should be!
Top StoriesGet up to the minute information from across Ohio in our Top Stories section!
Your Voice. Your Future.As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
Waste WatchHow are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
China unexpectedly cuts rates to support economy
BEIJING (AP) -- China's central bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates on Friday to re-energize the world's No. 2 economy, joining a growing list of major economies that are trying to encourage growth in the face of a global slowdown.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
BILL COSBY - FLORIDA WOMAN MAKES ACCUSATION
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida woman has become the fourth in recent weeks to make a rape allegation against Bill Cosby.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- With much of the nation digging out from snowstorms -- you might figure Anchorage, Alaska, must be buried.
IN THE NEWS: ASSESSING CYBER THREAT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's something people suspect could happen.
Tonight on ABC 22
6:30 pm ..... ABC World News
7:00 pm ..... Family Feud
7:30 pm ..... Family Feud
8:00 pm ..... Last Man Standing
8:30 pm ..... Cristela
9:00 pm ..... Shark Tank
10:00 pm ... 20/20
11:00 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
11:15 pm ... Football Friday - Playoff Edition
11:30 pm ... Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:30 am ... Nightline