The owners of the formerly Paintsville-based TLC Child Development Center receieved a pretrial diversion in Johnson Circuit Court Friday  in connection with felony theft by deception charges related to employees not receiving paychecks for approximately six months.

The owners, Ottway N. and Thelma Crider, were originally charged in March in complicity to commit theft by deception including cold checks with a value of less than $10,000 for incidents involving several employees at the day care center. Lenora Bowman, Angela May, Donna Williams and Missy Church, the documents said, were given the bad checks ranging in value from approximately $515 to $624 on dates between May 19, 2017 and December 29, 2017. 

“Thelma and Ottway plead guilty to the theft charges as alleged,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Skeans. “We reached an agreement between them and the worker victims as to a restitution amount and a means to pay it.”

Skeans said the agreement is a form of pretrial diversion wherein Thelma and Ottway Crider can have their charges waived if they complete payment of the restitution, totaling approximately $14,000.

“It’s a little complicated, but the sum total of it is, they’re eligible for pretrial diversion, ” Skeans said. “It’s kind of like probation, in that if they do what they’re supposed to do, it goes away.

“They agreed to pay an estimated $14,000, and they put $5,000 down to get the deal,” he continued. “That has already been distributed to the workers. Then, they’re supposed to pay at least $300 a month until they get it paid off.”

According to a business permit filed with the Paintsville City government and issued March 2, 2017, Thelma Crider was listed as the processing agent for TLC Child Development Center. Ottway Crider was listed as the director and incorporator for the company, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s business registration database. The company, according to the database, is in bad standing with the SOS and is listed as “inactive,” having been issued a certificate of administrative dissolution on Nov. 7, 1996 due to failure to file a required annual report. 

Skeans said he is satisfied with the verdict and commiserated with the employees.

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