Lima woman must pay $21K to father-in-law

LIMA — A Lima woman who stole more than $40,000 from her father-in-law must pay $21,000 in restitution for misusing the 74-year-old man’s credit cards.

Tami Dye, 40, appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Friday for a sentencing hearing, during which Judge Terri Kohlrieser ordered Dye to pay $21,276.93 in restitution, serve three years of probation and spend 14 days in the Allen County Jail under work release.

Dye pleaded guilty to two counts of misuse of a credit card, each as third-degree felonies, in January.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cecily Stewart said on Friday that Dye charged more than $40,000 to her father-in-law’s credit cards, including $13,000 in charges for Amazon, $6,000 at Walmart and nearly $6,000 on DoorDash food delivery, and then used her father-in-law’s bank account to pay off the cards.

Stewart described the acts as the “worst form of this crime” because the victim, who can’t read or write well, relied on Dye to manage his finances after his wife died. The man was only partially refunded by his credit card companies.

Assistant Public Defender Megan McClain said the charges started as an accident when Dye took over her father-in-law’s finances, and that the behavior was “out of character” for Dye.

Dye apologized in court, telling the judge: “I’m sorry if there’s any stress or inconvenience on him.”

Kohlrieser said she sees cases like Dye’s often: “You take a little and no one notices,” she said, and before long the defendant has stolen thousands of dollars.

Dye could spend nine to 72 months in prison if she violates the terms of her probation.