LUDINGTON — Former Mason County Eastern Public Schools business manager Robert Crane Bacon was sentenced today to one year in the Mason County Jail; he must also pay over $110,000 in restitution.
In April the 67-year-old Custer Township resident pleaded guilty in 51st Circuit Court on the charge of embezzlement. Bacon was accused of taking over $96,000 from Mason County Eastern Public Schools while he was employed there as business manager from 2003 to Dec. 31, 2011.
“I was employed as a bookkeeper,” Bacon said during his plea settlement. “My job was to handle the money and make deposits, reconcile checks, issue checks. There was a pooling of organizations in the school and those funds came in all week. One or two times a week it was pooled and a deposit was made. At various times I did not deposit the cash and diverted it into my own use. I would issue receipts that would show the receipts were made correctly.”
Bacon was charged with two counts. The first, for embezzlement of more than $50,000 and less than $100,000, a crime punishable by up to 15 years incarceration or a maximum $25,000 fine. The second count was embezzlement by a public official.
As part of his plea agreement with the Mason County prosecutor, Bacon pleaded guilty of the first count and the second count was dismissed. The plea agreement calls for one year in the county jail, paying fines and costs and also paying restitution of $96,098.18 to the school district’s insurance carrier, Set-Seg and also paying the district $13,406.93.
“This just proves that the system works,” said Joel Raddatz, who served as interim superintendent of MCE last year when the accounting discrepancies were discovered.”
“It is nice that this is behind us,” said Superintendent Paul Shoup. “Mason County Eastern is strong and we will move forward.”