New Castle News


April 17, 2014

Couple accused of theft from baseball field firm

NEW CASTLE — A Scott Township business involved in producing professional baseball field surfaces was the victim of an alleged employee theft.

A husband and wife from Boardman, Ohio, are facing theft and related charges. They are accused of taking more than $76,000 from Natural Sand Co. and buying personal items from sites ranging from Chuck E. Cheese to Victoria’s Secret.

State police filed charges against Jonathan Brian Honthy, 30, and his wife Morghan, 29. According to a criminal complaint filed in the office of District Judge David B. Rishel, Jonathan Honthy was hired by Natural Sand Co. as an accountant in early 2012 to deal with an expanding business. The company’s website says it provides baseball field surfaces for various levels of play, including several Major League fields around the country.

The complaint says Morghan Honthy was retained by the firm as a “social media director” and paid to maintain its Facebook page.

Police said Jonathan Honthy’s responsibilities eventually became those of chief financial officer and he had the duty of maintaining and overseeing the firm’s finances. However, company officials told police suspicions were aroused in May 2013 and checks of finances allegedly indicated improper use of company credit cards and wireless phone account.

Also, it was learned that rent was not being paid for a site the firm used in Toledo, Ohio, according to police. Meanwhile, vendors were sending Natural Sand overdue notices for bills that had not been paid.

A check of a company credit card showed payments for a fence at the Honthys’ Ohio home, Victoria’s Secret merchandise and appliances, police said. There was also a $1,600 veterinary bill paid for the Honthys’ dog, the criminal complaint charges.

Other unauthorized charges on the card allegedly included airline tickets and Chuck E. Cheese in Boardman.

The complaint said Jonathan Honthy had been confronted about the spending in August and allegedly admitted he and his wife were involved. Honthy said the money would be paid back, but he was dismissed from the company at the time.

According to company officials, when Honthy was leaving the premises, he was escorted to his vehicle and when the door opened, a bag containing overdue bills for the business fell out of his car.

The complaint says further investigation by the company revealed Honthy had been giving himself unauthorized pay raises.

It’s also alleged that after he was dismissed, Honthy submitted a payment of more than $38,000 to Natural Sand’s credit card account for funds he had admitted being responsible for. The company refused to accept the payment.

Natural Sand eventually conducted a forensic audit related to Honthy’s activities. Police said at this time, the total value of the alleged theft is $76,760.

The complaint said it is seeking a return of those funds as well as $65,000 to cover the cost of the forensic audit. Other expenses related to the case are to be sought as well.

Rishel arraigned the Honthys Tuesday. Jonathan Honthy was charged with six counts of theft and one count of access device fraud. Morghan Honthy is charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit theft and one count each of theft and access device fraud.

They were freed after posting $5,000 bond each. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for May 1.

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