Ann Geyman accepts plea deal following filing of criminal charges

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Former Switzerland County School Corporation treasurer Ann Geyman has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges that have been filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Department of Justice, law enforcement officials outlined their charges against Ann Geyman – charges that included alleged thefts from not only the school corporation, but also the J.D. Byrider car dealership in Madison; and the Madison Regatta.

The press release issued last Thursday, November 29th, states:

“Timothy M. Morrison, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced that Ann Geyman, 54, Madison, Indiana was charged today with embezzling more than $1 million from a school corporation receiving federal funds and other private entities.

“These charges were contained in an Information filed today in U.S. District Court. This case was investigated by the Indiana State Police, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Indiana State Board of Accounts, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the cooperation of the Switzerland County Prosecutor’s Office. Ann Geyman was originally charged in a Criminal Complaint and arrested in June by the Indiana State Police and the FBI.

“One of the charges alleges that Ann Geyman served as the Treasurer of the Switzerland County School Corporation from January 20th, 2003 to May 9th, 2007. During this period, Ann Geyman purportedly wrote 200 checks totaling $1,113,502.34 to various credit card companies to pay her personal credit card debts.

“None of these payments were approved by the Switzerland County School Corporation. Ann Geyman allegedly altered bank statements and canceled checks to conceal her embezzlement, which was first discovered during an outside audit by the Indiana State Board of Accounts in May, 2007.

“It is a federal crime to embezzle funds from a governmental entity receiving more than $5,000 in federal funds in one year.

“A second charge alleges that Ann Geyman committed a $24,489 dollar mail fraud between July 7th, 2000 and June 26th, 2001, while serving as the Treasurer of the Madison Regatta, Inc. The Madison Regatta is a not-for-profit entity which organizes and runs an annual boat race on the Ohio River. The Madison Regatta’s business operations included the running of concession stands and ticket sales.

“From her position as the Treasurer of the Madison Regatta, and through her influence in its business operations, Ann Geyman routinely reviewed and authorized for payment the legitimate invoices submitted by vendors of the Madison Regatta. Ann Geyman could also issue checks to pay these legitimate invoices without the approval of other persons at the Madison Regatta. Ann Geyman then allegedly maintained the books and financial records of the Madison Regatta.

“Ann Geyman devised a scheme to defraud the Madison Regatta by preparing, signing and mailing 24 checks made payable to the credit card companies and business who had issued her personal lines of credit. None of these payments, which totaled $24,489.15, allegedly related to any legitimate business operations of the Madison Regatta. She then allegedly hid this activity through false entries in the books and records of the Madison Regatta.

“The final charge alleges that Ann Geyman committed mail fraud while employed as an accountant for Value Systems, Inc. doing business as J.D. Byrider and CNAC, Value Systems (“J. D. Byrider”). J. D. Byrider was an automobile dealership and related finance company operating in Madison, Indiana. As part of its business operations, J. D. Byrider routinely made large payments to its vendors to buy automobile inventory. These purchases were made through the bank accounts of J. D. Byrider.

“Between August 17th, 2001, and December 1st, 2002, Ann Geyman allegedly defrauded the J. D. Byrider of about $76,000 by issuing and mailing 22 checks from J. D. Byrider’s bank account to the credit card companies and business who had issued her personal lines of credit. None of these checks related to any legitimate business operations of the J. D. Byrider. She then allegedly hid this activity through false entries in the books and records of J. D. Byrider.

“In other pleadings filed in the case, Ann Geyman notified the district court that she intends to plead guilty to all the charges. However, such pleadings have no operative effect, unless and until Ann Geyman would appear before a district court judge and ratify them.

“Ann Geyman will be scheduled for an initial hearing on the charges before a United States Magistrate Judge in New Albany.”

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In a plea agreement that was filed in U.S. District Court, Southern Indiana District, New Albany Division on Thursday, November 29th, U.S. Attorney Timothy Morrison and assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota informed the court that they had reached a plea agreement with Ann Geyman; who was represented by her attorney, Jack Bennett, Jr.

The charges filed against her included: one count of Embezzlement from the School Corporation; one count of mail fraud involving the Madison Regatta; and one count of mail fraud involving J.D. Byrider.

The potential maximum penalty for the charge of embezzlement from the school corporation is a prison term of up to 10 years; a fine of up to $250,000; and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

The potential maximum penalty for the charge involving the Madison Regatta is a prison term of up to five years; a fine of up to $250,000; and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

The potential maximum penalty for the charge involving the J.D. Byrider car dealership is also a prison term of up to five years; a fine of up to $250,000; and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

In the plea agreement, Ann Geyman acknowledges that the determination of her sentence is up to the discretion of the court, and that the court is not bound by the plea agreement and can impose a stiffer or less severe sentence if it chooses.

As part of the plea agreement, Ann Geyman agreed that she is not eligible to withdrawal her plea agreement should the recommendations not be followed.

The document also stated that federal law requires mandatory restitution for the offenses, and Ann Geyman agrees to pay back a total of $1,214,066.32 – including $1,113,502.34 to the Switzerland County School Corporation.

She also agrees in the plea agreement to cooperate “completely an truthfully with the Internal Revenue Service in the filling of all required tax returns…”

One of the biggest indications that the school corporation will be able to recoup some or all of the funds is that Ann Geyman agreed to forfeit her interest in all property, real and personal, that was seized by the government in the case.

That forfeiture includes, “(A) The entire residence and property located at 1829 Telegraph Hill Road, Madison, Indiana; (B) The defendant’s 2003 Chevy Trailblazer…”

Vevay Newspapers has also been told by sources that Ann Geyman will also turn over personal effects that will be auctioned off by the school corporation, with all proceeds from that auction going to help pay for the restitution debt.