February 1, 2013

Locals cash S.S. checks of dead man

Sentenced on fraud charges

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Three of four persons involved in a scheme to collect money on a deceased person were sentenced in Laurel Circuit Court earlier this month.

Barbara Alice Sands, 44, and 21-year-old Melinda Partain, both of 415 Ellen St. in London, were charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft of identity of another without consent, first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and program assistance fraud, along with 47-year-old Versie Partain and 25-year-old Amy Partain, also of 415 Ellen St. in London. The four were indicted in June of last year.

The four women supposedly cashed Social Security checks totaling $698 on Eric Partain on March 30, 2012, although Eric Partain was deceased. They also used a EBT food stamp card in Eric Partain’s name to purchase nearly $80 in food from a local store.

Sands and Melinda Partain and Versie Partain were all sentenced on Jan. 18 on those charges.

Versie Partain was given a 12 month sentence for theft by unlawful taking, but the sentence was probated for 24 months. However, she and the other three co-defendants were ordered to share the restitution of $698 and $79.98 they unlawfully took. The theft of identity and criminal possession of a forged instrument charges were dismissed.

Sands received a four year sentence for the theft charge, but the charge was probated for five years. However, Sands must pay repay the $698 and the $79.98 back within 12 months. She was also ordered to pay $155 in court costs and $250 to the office of the Public Defender. The other three charges against Sands were dismissed.

Melinda Partain received the same sentence for her role in the conspiracy to collect money and benefits not entitled to her, as well as repaying the $698 collected from the Social Security check and food stamps of Eric Partain.

That four-year sentence, probated for five years, will run at the same time as another charge against Melinda Partain and Sands.

The two women were also indicted in May 2012 for third-degree burglary and two counts of theft by unlawful taking from a break-in on Jan. 1 of last year at London Dry Cleaners.

In that case, Sands and Partain allegedly broke into the business and took cleaning supplies and then took quarters from a coin machine.

Sands and Partain received a four-year sentence that was probated for five years on the burglary charge. They were ordered to repay  $580 in that case, with the theft charges being dismissed.

Partain also must pay $155 court costs and $250 to the Office of the Public Defenders within 12 months.