State of Ohio vs. Joseph W. Pierce Case Number: 2022 CR 00614

Press Release from the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office

Re: State of Ohio v. Joseph W. Pierce
Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court
Case No. 2022 CR 00614

On June 21, 2022, the treasurer of the Elks Lodge in Saybrook Township reported to the Ashtabula County Sherriff’s Office a theft of money from the Elks Lodge gambling machines.
The Elks Treasurer conducted an audit of the profits earned by the gambling machines from 2018 to 2021. He provided the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office with a spreadsheet detailing the financial discrepancies of the audit, which totaled nearly $80,000.00.

Joseph Pierce, the defendant, was the trustee in charge of the gambling operations as well as the Andover Bank account where funds were deposited from gambling profits. Detective Wolff interviewed Joseph Pierce, the defendant, who took issue with the amount alleged to have been stolen, but admitted he had taken some of the money and confirmed that no one else could have taken the money.

A plea agreement was worked out between the defendant, the prosecutor, Michael J. Bodyke, the Court, and The Elks Board of Directors who approved a plea agreement to convict Joseph Pierce, now 73 years-of-age, of a felony Grand Theft with a recommendation of community control if Joseph Pierce agreed to pay back the Elks $45,000.00.

On April 21, 2023, Joseph Pierce plead to a fourth-degree felony for Grand Theft and agreed to pay the $45,000.00 restitution in immediate and substantial monthly payments, which cannot be discharged by bankruptcy.

Colleen M. O’Toole
Ashtabula County Prosecutor

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