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Repayment leads to dismissal of charges against Johnson City man

Becky Campbell • Dec 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Theft and forgery charges against a Johnson City man were dismissed in Washington County Criminal Court on Friday after his attorney confirmed the money had been repaid.

“The restitution is in my escrow account,” said Steve Finney, defense attorney for David W. Baldwin, who had faced charges of theft over $60,000, forgery and five counts of identity theft.

Baldwin, 54, reached the agreement for the charges to be dismissed if he repaid money he was accused of stealing from his former boss, who was also his father-in-law at the time.

Baldwin worked for his father-in-law, Dennis Powell, at the family business, Dennis Powell Auto Body Repair, located on Wayfield Drive.

A Johnson City police department news release said the total amount taken from the business was $148,501.11.

During Friday’s court appearance, Finney did not disclose the amount his client paid in restitution, but said it was far less than the amount Baldwin was accused of stealing.

Police began investigating the missing money after Powell filed a report at the police department in 2010. He told an investigator he believed Baldwin had been stealing from the company since around 2004.

A police report said Baldwin only had authority to write checks to pay bills for the body shop.

Powell told police he discovered Baldwin wrote numerous checks to himself and forged Powell’s name on checks that required dual signatures, information in the report said.

Powell also told police that he found out Baldwin had opened credit card accounts in the business name and signed Powell’s name to the cards.

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