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Evans businessman pleads guilty to theft

Friday, July 22, 2011 2:56 PM
Last updated 11:43 PM
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A part-owner of a Columbia County heavy-equipment business pleaded guilty to a theft charge Friday and returned $80,000 to his former business partner.

Richard Rogers, 60, abused his position as a co-owner of Construction Equipment Outlet to funnel profits into his own pockets instead of the business accounts, cheating his partner, Paul Swanson.

In 2005, Swanson, who had put up most of the money to start the company, which sold used construction equipment, became suspicious about the inventory and took the company books to an accountant. The case was turned over to the Columbia County Sheriff Office.

Although Rogers was accused initially of taking $115,000 and indicted on charges of racketeering and theft, defense attorney Michael Garrett and District Attorney Ashley Wright worked out a negotiated acceptable to Rogers and Swanson.

Judge Michael N. Annis also accepted the plea agreement Friday. He sentenced Rogers to two years' probation under the First Offender Act.

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Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/22/11 - 04:07 pm
0
0
A thief who betrays the trust

A thief who betrays the trust of a business partner to the tune of $80K deserves jail time.

And what's this about a 60-y.o. "first offender?"

Does everybody get a "mulligan" on criminal acts. No penalty for your first one?

As to the relative costs of crime, a late friend-lawyer-legal guru used to opine, "Poor folks pay with their time, rich folks pay with their money."

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 07/22/11 - 06:05 pm
0
0
Hey, wait just a minute here.

Hey, wait just a minute here. Why is Rogers only receiving 2 years probation when there are numerous other offenses involving far less money that actually get jail time the first time around? If this is all there is to this, we can certainly expect a future story regarding the same defendant.

edubb
10
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edubb 07/22/11 - 06:26 pm
0
0
where is the picture of the

where is the picture of the perp?

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 07/22/11 - 06:34 pm
0
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It's all in who ya know.

It's all in who ya know.

copperhead
1035
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copperhead 07/22/11 - 08:36 pm
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0
AMNESTY! AMNESTY! For all! He

AMNESTY! AMNESTY! For all! He just wanted a better life.

juantez
234
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juantez 07/23/11 - 01:40 am
0
0
Damn you got to love the
Unpublished

Damn you got to love the rich...

So True
Craig Spinks@ "Poor folks pay with their time, rich folks pay with their money."

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 07/23/11 - 07:34 am
0
0
Wonder what sentence a young

Wonder what sentence a young black guy would get for having $115K worth of crack?

justthefacts
21698
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justthefacts 07/23/11 - 07:45 am
0
0
Wonder if the fact that the

Wonder if the fact that the person harmed in the deal, Swanson, accepted the plea bargain has anything to do with it?

ldsmith1
1
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ldsmith1 07/23/11 - 07:47 am
0
0
Ummm, where in the article

Ummm, where in the article does it say that Rogers is "rich"? Is that just being assumed that because he is/was a businessman and larger sums of money were involved? The article states that he returned 80k, it doesn't say where it came from. That amount could have been borrowed or could have been his life savings, who knows? I'm not defending what Rogers did, at all. I'm just tired of the class warfare. The assumption that all "rich" businesspeople are dishonest is just as judgemental as assuming that all poor people are lazy.

billyjones1949
1
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billyjones1949 07/23/11 - 09:44 am
0
0
Techfan, 115K of crack will

Techfan, 115K of crack will hurt alot of people who may then rob, steal or kill others to support their habit. The taking of 115K from Mr. Swanson only hurt him and he did not get addicted to anything. He just lost some money but got most back. There is a big difference.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/23/11 - 11:29 am
0
0
Still, just paying the money

Still, just paying the money back with a little slap on the wrist, does not help to say that crime doesn't pay, in fact, it states just the opposite. Steal all you want and can, if you get caught, make sure you saved enough to give them some of it back and you'll have no worries.

edubb
10
Points
edubb 07/23/11 - 01:18 pm
0
0
billyjones please..you can't

billyjones please..you can't go on a "what if " attitude like that. because alcohol kills daily. all a person can be convicted for is for what they have been found guilty of. and most drug dealers that get caught have not committed a violent crime. This case proves justice fits good for certain people and bad for others. can i steal 115k and not do 1 dang day in jail...no way

matjoe
30
Points
matjoe 07/23/11 - 01:22 pm
0
0
He was guilty of greed. He

He was guilty of greed. He took was not rightfully his. The two 'settled' on the return of 80k. Whom ever is making the assumption that the rich get off easier only come across to me as bitter and resentful. A judge has the duty to be fair because their name is on the line, both personally and professionally. The sentence given to the guilty party was one given by someone, undoubtedly, with more experience than the general population. I support the sentence because I am not ignorant.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/23/11 - 03:52 pm
0
0
The above judgment makes no

The above judgment makes no case whatsoever, to deter white collar theft or grand larceny, which cost all of the taxpayers money and drives up the cost of doing business. Yes, it is everyone’s business. Justice is blind, not fair.

billyjones1949
1
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billyjones1949 07/23/11 - 08:10 pm
0
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tech. I did not say I agreed

tech. I did not say I agreed with the sentence. I just answered your question about crack. Stealing is bad but the sale of drugs is also bad and sentences a person AND THEIR FAMILY to a life of problems. A thief is a thief and a drug addic is a thief and addict who will do anything to support their habit.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 07/24/11 - 11:13 am
0
0
tech. A young black man

tech. A young black man selling $115k worth of crack is not an inmate, he's an informant.

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