Wagswoofs – A Columbus man has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing over $200,000 from a Union County brewery where he was employed.
Lyle Bigelow, 42, has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to aggravated theft, a third-degree felony, as per the Union County online court records. The sentencing took place on December 13. Along with the prison term, Bigelow has also been ordered to pay $107,014.92 in restitution.
According to the Union County prosecutor’s office, Bigelow joined 1487 Brewery in Plain City as a line cook in December 2020. Due to his exceptional performance, he was swiftly promoted to the position of chief operating officer. As the COO, Bigelow was responsible for managing the brewery’s payroll and was entrusted with a company credit card.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Bigelow allegedly embezzled around $207,000 between 2021 and October 2022. He accomplished this by diverting payroll payments into accounts that he had opened under false names, totaling $48,010 as per court records. In addition, he made unearned payments to himself amounting to $85,584. Furthermore, court records indicate that Bigelow also misused the company credit card to make personal purchases on Amazon, totaling $14,973.
In October 2022, the CEO of the brewery reached out to the Union County Sheriff’s office to report the theft.
In a recent social media post, the prosecutor revealed that the owner of the brewery expressed how the theft had almost destroyed their business. The repayment amount that Bigelow is obligated to make is the portion that was not covered by the brewery’s insurance.
As a result of the plea agreement, the court dismissed two charges of credit card misuse and one charge of record tampering.
Bigelow is scheduled to move from Tri County Jail to a facility operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction this week.
Upon his release from prison, Bigelow will be placed on post-release probation for a period of up to two years.