Ohio News Briefs

Ohioan accused of stealing $940K in benefits over 23 years

CLEVELAND (AP) — The attorney general’s office says a Cleveland-area woman accused of stealing more than $940,000 in public pension and Social Security benefits over more than two decades has been indicted on felony charges.

Prosecutors allege 73-year-old Eva Allen forged documents to continue collecting benefits in the name of a relative who had died. They say she received fraudulent benefits for nearly 23 years, starting in 1991.

The Euclid woman is charged with identity fraud, theft and 25 counts of money laundering. The Cuyahoga County court docket didn’t list an attorney for her.

Prosecutors allege she got fraudulent payments totaling an estimated $650,000 from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and more than $290,000 from Social Security.

Ohio man convicted in sex abuse of girls gets life in prison

CLEVELAND (AP) — A suburban Cleveland man accused of using alcohol and candy laced with psychedelic drugs in sexually abusing three girls has been formally sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County prosecutor says the sentence was mandatory for 39-year-old William Waters because he was found to be a sexually violent predator and one victim was under age 10.

The Westlake man was convicted of rape, kidnapping and other crimes.

Prosecutors have said Waters started sexually abusing one girl at his home in 2008 and abused the other girls as his family moved to two other homes and then to Westlake.

Defense attorney S. Michael Lear previously argued the girls made up the allegations. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday for Lear.

Judge won’t toss millionaire businessman’s prison time

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has refused to throw out the prison sentence of an Ohio telemarketing millionaire who was convicted of witness tampering but acquitted on charges related to campaign contributions made by employees, relatives and others.

The Repository in Canton reports 74-year-old Benjamin Suarez has served most of his 15-month sentence at a minimum-security facility in West Virginia.

Suarez sought to have his sentence vacated, arguing he had ineffective legal counsel. That motion was denied this week by a judge in Cleveland who concluded documentation and testimony in the case contradicts the businessman’s arguments.

Suarez ran Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton. Its former chief financial officer was accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to two Republicans in 2011 and was imprisoned after pleading guilty to federal campaign charges.

Ohio air travelers choose Florida for holidays, site says

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The travel website Priceline.com says Florida is the top out-of-state destination for Ohio residents who are flying somewhere for the holidays.

The analysis of thousands of airline ticket purchases found that the Sunshine State is the top choice for air travelers from Ohio at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At Thanksgiving, the next most popular destinations for Ohioans traveling by air are Texas, California and New York, in that order.

Over the Christmas holidays, Florida is followed by locations in California, Asia and South America.

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