DECATUR — A laid off Archer Daniels Midland Co. administrative assistant pleaded guilty Thursday to a Class 2 felony theft after running up unauthorized personal bills of more than $36,400 on a company-issued credit card.
Debbie K. Patton, 51, was sentenced to 24 months' probation in Macon County Circuit Court in a plea deal worked out by her defense attorney, Nrupa Patel. As part of her probation, she was ordered to repay the full amount she stole, $36,435.37, starting with a $1,000 payment after the court hearing and then a minimum $500 a month.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jane Foster said the thefts were committed between June and July, 2017. She said Patton had been laid off from her job as part of a company downsizing in August, which is when the thefts were discovered.
“Shortly after this defendant left employment, an employee noticed that there was an account that was approximately $600 short,” Foster said. “An investigation started and it was soon revealed that this defendant, who had been issued an ADM corporate credit card, had used that card repeatedly to make personal purchases and pay personal bills.”
Foster said a full accounting of the theft took several weeks and finally came up with the more than $36,000 figure.
“This defendant was confronted by ADM with the results of their investigation and made an admission she had used the card for personal purposes that were not authorized,” Foster added.
During sentencing, Judge Jeffrey Geisler told Patton: “The amount (of the theft) is substantial, but I am going to concur with the plea negotiations as you have no prior record whatsoever.”
In addition to the probation and restitution, Patton was ordered to pay court costs and a $250 fee to have her DNA indexed by the Illinois State Police.
ADM said on Thursday that it did not wish to comment on this court case.
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