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Police & Fire News

April 13, 2012

Accountant accused of stealing to plead guilty

Lemuel Travillian to pay $265,000 in restitution

JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville accountant accused of stealing more than $200,000 from a company that hired him to prepare its payroll has agreed to plead guilty.

Lemuel W. Travillian has signed an agreement to plead guilty to theft, a class C felony, and pay $265,000 in restitution to Health Choice Enterprises, according to the statement of plea agreement. The agreement has been filed with the court.

Travillian had worked for McBride & Associates when he agreed to do the payroll for Health Choice Enterprises. According to the probable cause affidavit, Health Choice Chief Executive Officer Neal Branstetter would send Travillian the hours his employees worked, and Travillian would advise how much payroll would be for that period and how much to deposit in the payroll account. After the money had been deposited, Travillian was responsible for cutting the payroll checks and remitting the correct amount to the federal, state and local taxes. However, Branstetter said Travillian kept the money meant to pay those taxes.

The total amount of missing money added up to $216,025 from the third quarter of 2009 until Travillian was arrested in 2011. That does not take into account the fees Travillian was owed, but that would have been about $4,000, Branstetter estimated.

In addition to the restitution, the agreement states that Travillian will be sentenced to eight years in jail, suspended upon strict terms of probation. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said the victim in this crime wanted Travillian on probation, able to work, so that his company may recoup the money faster.

Travillian’s sentencing is scheduled for May 14.

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