Whaley theft sentencing postponed

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The main perpetrator in a theft scheme that was one of the largest in Pike County’s history has had her sentencing hearing delayed.

Marjorie Beasley was set to have a sentencing hearing Monday, but District Attorney Tom Anderson said the sentencing has been postponed despite the prosecution’s objection. A new date is to be determined for the sentencing hearing.

Beasley plead guilty in October to two counts of first-degree theft of property 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.

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“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 had 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.”

When the sentencing does move forward, Anderson said the prosecution will be arguing that aggravating factors should allow Judge Jeff Kelley to hand down a stiffer sentence then the usual maximum of 20 years in prison for the Class B felony.

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.