Miami County victim to judge: Theft by relative ‘broke my heart’

A Vandalia woman convicted of stealing from an elderly Miami County relative was sentenced Thursday after the victim told the judge she was heartbroken by the deceit.

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“It just broke my heart to know someone you love could do such a rotten thing,” the 85-year-old woman said.

Lisa Eisele, 56, formerly of Tipp City, was indicted earlier this year by a Miami County grand jury on a second-degree felony of theft from the elderly. Prosecutors said following the indictment that $48,621 was stolen.

Eisele later pleaded guilty in Common Pleas Court to a third-degree felony of aggravated theft. Before Thursday’s sentencing, defense lawyer Steve Layman and assistant prosecutor Janna Parker worked on a restitution agreement in which Eisele agreed to pay the victim $25,000. The agreement canceled a hearing before Judge Jeannine Pratt scheduled for four days to determine the amount of restitution owed.

Payment of at least $100 a month was ordered by Pratt, who sentenced Eisele to five years of community control with several conditions. If she doesn’t comply with conditions, Eisele could face up to three years in prison.

Police said the victim learned in late 2017 that someone had made fraudulent charges on her credit card for possibly a year or more. She found out about the charges after contacting the company to find out why she wasn’t receiving statements in the mail.

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Eisele was listed as a suspected because she had access to the card with use supposed to be restricted to buying groceries and medicine for the woman.

The victim said she had been “a nervous wreck” since finding the thefts by a person she said she “trusted completely.” Among purchases made, she told Pratt, was a tattoo.

Eisele said she did “feel bad for what I did.” Layman said Eisele had no prior criminal convictions and was experiencing personal and financial issues at the time of the thefts.

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Parker said a significant part of the case was the financial loss and said community control was supported as a sentence in hopes some of the money would be paid back.

Pratt said Eisele showed no genuine remorse for the thefts. She said the victim suffered physically, emotionally and financially. “It troubles me whether you fully accept responsibility for your actions,” Pratt said.

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Among conditions of Eisele’s community control include monthly restitution payments, 30 hours of community service, obtaining a full-time job, a mental health assessment and having no contact with the victim.

“I have faith that this defendant is going to make this right,” Pratt said.

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