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Woman pleas guilty in connection with Whaley theft

A Troy woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree theft of property in what District Attorney Tom Anderson called the largest theft case in the history of Pike County.

Marjorie Beasley entered the plea last week and now awaits sentencing in December.

“We’ve been in discussions for quite some time,” Anderson said. “We were hoping she would plea at an earlier time but some extenuating circumstances delayed it. This is a great result for the benefit of the Whaleys, who have really been wanting to get this behind them and get some sense of justice.”

Beasely was arrested on the theft charges in connection with a scheme prosecutors say she orchestrated to steal over $1.8 million from the Whaley Construction company over a four-year period as an employee of the company.

“I feel confident that if the Whaleys had wanted to expend the funds to have the auditors go back even more years, there would have been more stolen,” said Anderson, who ahd previously estimated that $5.5 million or more may have been stolen over the course of Beasley’s employment with the company. ”This has been going on probably for quite some time and likely got worse and worse the later it went on.”

Anderson said aggravating factors will be argued by the prosecution at the sentencing December 3 that, if the judge agrees, could alow a stiffer sentence than what is typically allowed for the Class B Felonies, which are punishable by up to 20 years in prison under usual circumstances.

“We intend to ask for a substantial prison sentence,” Anderson said.

Anderson said charges against other individuals connected to the scheme are still pending. Anderson said Karron White, another former employee of the company, was the “number two” person behind the scheme.

“They’d take money from one account, write a check to another and deposit it and get cash back,” Anderson said. “Anything that was ever issued to be cashed, they always pocketed it. They did that probably several times a week. Marjorie took steps to hide it in the system.”

Jeanette Holliday, the sister of Beasley and the mother of White, was also indicted and charged with first-degree theft of property for allegedly using the company’s employee insurance program despite not being employed by the company. Anderson said the company unknowingly and unwillingly paid Holliday’s premiums in excess of $78,000, even though company records show she was never employed by Whaley Construction.

Beasley also was charged with taking more than $500,000 from the personal finances of company owners Alec and Jane Whaley.

A civil suit further detailed the allegations against Beasley, which include overpaying herself by $1,500 a month, pocketing checks meant to reimburse the company for employees’ personal expenses and giving out gas cards to people unauthorized to use them.

The suit also names Beasley’s sons, Michael R. Beasley and David L. Beasley as defendants in the suit, alleging that they fraudulently used the company’s gas cards without authorization. Neither Michael nor David Beasley was employed by Whaley.