October 16, 2009
LIMA — An Allen County employee who once managed the health insurance program was indicted on a felony charge accusing her of keeping her ex-husband on her policy after their divorce.
Crystal D. Balo, 30, is charged with grand theft by deception, a fourth-degree felony that carries up to 18 months in prison. Her ex-husband, Steven A. Balo, 38, whom she divorced in 2006, has been charged with insurance fraud, a fifth-degree felony that carries up to one year in prison.
Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Dan Berry said the amount of claims Balo’s ex-husband presented after the divorce total less than $5,000. The crime took place between January 2004 and September 2009 for her, and January 2002 to September 2009 for him, according to court records.
Crystal Balo has a hearing Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court where she is expected to enter a plea. Her ex-husband already has pleaded not guilty and has a hearing the same day. Both are scheduled to stand trial Nov. 30.
The alleged crime surfaced after County Administrator Becky Saine conducted a computer audit including checking insurance beneficiaries under each county employee’s insurance policy.
“I noticed she had an ex-husband on there,” Saine said.
Allen County Commissioner Greg Sneary said his office is not changing policies as a result of the alleged crime.
“There really wasn’t anything wrong with the policies we had. This was a violation of the policies we had,” he said.
Balo worked for Allen County Commissioners from Sept. 16, 2002, to Feb. 15, 2006, when she transferred to the auditor’s office. She was making $12.29 an hour as an employee of the commissioners’ office and $15.02 when she was fired from the auditor’s office Sept. 15, according to county records.
Auditor Rhonda Eddy said she terminated Balo after learning of the criminal investigation. Balo managed the insurance programs for the county while an employee of the commissioners’ office and was a deputy clerk in accounting for the auditor’s office, according to county records.