LIMA — A former Allen County employee accused of keeping her ex-husband on her health insurance after their divorce will learn today whether she will face prison.
Allen County Common Pleas Judge Richard Warren will announce at 10:45 a.m. whether Crystal Balo is guilty of grand theft by deception. Warren heard evidence Tuesday during a one-day trial.
Prosecutors said the 31-year-old Balo kept her ex-husband on her insurance policy after their divorce, allowing him to run up $5,727 in charges. She also kept her brother, Richard Roby, who was in her custody, on her insurance after he turned 19.
Balo faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted of the fourth-degree felony. She no longer works for the county, where she first managed the health insurance program and later worked in the auditor’s office. She was fired after she was charged with a crime.
During the trial Tuesday several county employees who handled the insurance program testified how they discovered the alleged crime or were involved with the investigation. County Administrator Becky Saine said the county was doing a routine audit of eligible dependents when she discovered the issue.
Saine also said it was up to employees to keep their insurance information current, which included removing anyone who is no longer eligible for coverage. Saine, who worked with Balo in the commissioner’s office, came across Balo’s ex-husband on Balo’s insurance and knew something was wrong since she knew they were divorced, she said.
“That raised a red flag to me,” she said.
Saine said a check of dependants ineligible for insurance found 32 cases in question during the search. Balo is the only person charged so far.
Balo’s ex-husband, Steven Balo, 39, was convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud. He was given a 60-day suspended jail sentence.
Ex-county employee to find out fate of criminal case in the morning