Attorney: Jeffersonville Jaycee accused of stealing $100K will repay money
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A Jeffersonville Jaycee accused of stealing $100,000 made an unusual move through his attorney in court this week. On Tuesday, the defense actually asked for a higher bond.
It's a request that surprised a lot of people inside the courtroom, but Keith Sellmer's attorney says it is also a move to show he plans to pay back every cent of the money.
The former Jaycee left the courtroom smiling and laughing with his attorney, but did not talk to the media about the charges against him.
"No comment," said Sellmer as he breezed past.
Indiana State Police got involved after Jaycees like Dan Griffin started questioning the whereabouts of money from the sale of the civic group's former meeting place, which was located at Chestnut and Pearl Streets in downtown Jeffersonville.
"The money that we obtained for the selling of the Jaycee building to the redevelopment committee for the entrance of the foot of the big four bridge was to go to the community foundation," Griffin said.
The building was sold for $100,000 and, according to a probable cause affidavit, Sellmer wrote thousands of dollars in checks to himself and deposited them into a PNC Bank account.
"When things are tough, people do things sometimes that they wouldn't do if things weren't tough -- and that's not an excuse -- nobody is making any excuses for anyone. What he did was wrong," said Jeffersonville attorney Larry Wilder, Sellmer's attorney.
Wilder said Sellmer is taking ownership of the crime and that's why he surprised the court and asked for a higher bond, which he was granted.
"Because we want to make it clear that Mr. Sellmer is going to repay the money and that's what our first step was to send that message," said Wilder.
Wilder also explained how the case ended up in a court of law. "It is really important for me to make it clear, he doesn't have a gambling problem, he doesn't have a drug problem; what happened was he lost his job in 2010 and he did something that is horrifically stupid and against the law."
The affidavit says Sellmer used the money to pay for nursing school and also wrote checks to his mother, who is now deceased.
Meanwhile, the organization is now defunct, but fellow Jaycees say the money will still be used for a good cause.
"Any interest off of that was to be set aside for educational scholarship money for direct descendants of the Jeffersonville Jaycees," said Griffin.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in September, however, but Wilder hopes to have the money repaid and the issue resolved before then.
You can read the rest of the affidavit here.
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