Editors note: This article originally appeared on the front page of the Morgan County Citizen June 23, 2016. All articles concerning Melissa Shawn Stephens’ arrest, indictment and sentencing were unlawfully removed from the Morgan County Citizen website. A police report was filed with the Madison Police Department in October 2016 and an investigation is underway. It is a felony to hack into a website and a felony to tamper with content.
By Patrick Yost, Editor
A Madison woman pled guilty to more than 30 counts of fraud and theft in Morgan County Superior Court last week.
Melissa Shawn Stephens, 31, made her plea before Superior Court Judge William Prior on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
Stephens was sentenced to 25 years with 60 days to be served in a probation detention center and the remainder to be served on probation. She was also ordered to pay $59,813.91 in restitution to the Lane Conrads Corp. That payment was made, court records show, on the day of sentencing.
In total, Stephens pled guilty to 27 counts of financial fraud, two counts of theft by taking and two counts of theft of services.
Warrents state that Stephens was arrested on December 23, 2013. Charges against her included the use of a company credit card to make personal purchases, allegations that she forged company checks to her personal benefit, allegations that she acquired a company credit card to use for fuel and other purchases and allegations that she forged a manager’s name on company checks made out to Stephens.
Stephens was working as a book keeper at Lane Conrads Corp at the time of her arrest. She was taken to the Morgan County Detention Center and booked into jail after the hearing.