Thursday , December 28, 2017 - 3:25 PM6 comments
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly conflated a non-public agreement with a plea deal. Poff has a non-public agreement, not a plea deal. We are sorry for the error.
A former South Weber City councilman accused of embezzling more than $200,000 from a Bountiful assisted living facility resolved his case by entering into a non-public agreement.
William Michael Poff settled his case earlier this month by “entering into an unusual secret diversion agreement,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. As a result of the agreement, three second-degree felony communication charges were dismissed.
Without such a deal, Poff could have spent up to 15 years in prison on each count, if convicted. Usually, the public to knows what punishment the accused agrees to in order to get charges reduced or dismissed. The special circumstance of this diversion agreement keep those details secret.
Allegations that Poff stole more than $200,000 from Welcome Home Assisted Living Center in Bountiful between 2008-10, where he worked as an administrator, arose in 2014. Poff, 41-years-old at the time, entered a not guilty plea to the charges four months later.
Deputy Davis County Attorney Rick Westmoreland told the Tribune Thursday that a private settlement in a criminal case “was probably a little bit outside the norm,” but it was in the best interest of everyone, including the victims.
Westmoreland didn’t disclose whether Poff was required to pay restitution as part of the agreement, citing its private nature.
According to documents filed in 2nd District Court in March 2014, Poff allegedly took out several credit cards in his own name, charging several thousand dollars to the cards and then used proceeds from the assisted living center to pay off the debt. He also allegedly took “several thousands of dollars from the business and deposited them into his own personal bank account and used the proceeds from those accounts for his own personal use.”
The charges were dismissed without prejudice by Judge Robert Dale on Dec. 19, 2017. Since the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the state has the ability to proceed with charges in the future if it chooses to.
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