Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Couple accused of swindling Manlius church of $444,000 due in court,

 The embezzlement case against a Syracuse couple who served as the treasurer and finance committee chair of the United Methodist Church of Manlius is scheduled for court today.

Former treasurer Mary Meyer, 57, and John Osborn, 55, of 228 Roe Ave., are accused of wiping out the church's endowment in the amount of $444,000.

While their cases are are scheduled for today to address legal arguments -- called motions -- the defendants don't actually have to be there for the case to proceed.

But today's court date does signal that the case is headed towards trial. The judge could set a trial date if he chooses.

The wife and husband are each accused of two felony counts of second-degree grand larceny and one count of third-degree grand larceny for conduct between January 2008 and March of this year.

John Osborn was arraigned in Onondaga County Court in October on charges of embezzling $444,000 from a church in Manlius.

They were accused by an Onondaga County grand jury in October of writing unauthorized checks and making unauthorized money transfers from the church to themselves and a company Osborn owns.

Most of the stolen money was taken from the endowment, which people contributed to in their wills.

In 1992, Osborn was convicted of stealing $120,000 from the Camillus Housing Authority while he was the agency's treasurer. He was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to repay the money.

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