Cash advance employee pleads guilty in connection to staged robbery.

August 14, 2018

Bryana Black with her attorney, Al Swanson, Jr.

Cash advance employee pleads guilty in connection to staged robbery.

#MasonCountyCrime.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A former employee of Advance Cash America in Pere Marquette Township pleaded guilty in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Aug. 14, to conspiracy to commit embezzlement $1,000-$20,000 and lying to a police officer in connection to a staged robbery at the business  last May.

Bryana Jacqueline Black, 21, 5616 N. Budzynski Road, Sheridan Township, was initially charged two counts of conspiracy to commit embezzlement $1,000-$20,000. One count was dismissed in a plea agreement Tuesday.

The other two suspects involved in the case, Taya Ilene Wrightsman and Korena Lynn Reid, received sentencing through the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), which are non-public. See related story here. Black’s attorney, Al Swanson, Jr., said he planned to request HYTA sentencing, which is set for Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola told MCP he plans to object to HYTA sentencing.

On June 19, Wrightsman pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit embezzlement $1,000-$25,0000.

Sentencing guidelines in Black’s case are 0-9 months.

“The investigation led by Det. Sgt. Tom Posma and Det. Mike Kenney has developed evidence that Ms. Black, an employee of Advance America Cash, and who reported the purported robbery, was, in actuality, a willing participant in the theft of money from her place of employment, and that what she reported to law enforcement as an armed robbery was actually staged and planned in advance,” Spaniola said previously, adding that that Black acted together with the other two defendants.

Investigators believe they have recovered all the money stolen. According to testimony, the trio stole $15,000.

There were “multiple” conversations of plans to stage the robbery, Black testified Tuesday before Judge Susan K. Sniegowski. “It happened that day,” she said.

Black testified that she lied to police following the robbery.

She is free on a $35,000 cash/surety bond.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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