A Pemberville man charged with taking money for a job, but not doing the work was in court last week.

Pleda J. Phommalee, 47, has been indicted for theft, a fifth-degree felony.

He is accused of taking $5,279 and using the money to gamble and not complete the services agreed upon.

He was hired to apply drywall at a Wayne Road home and allegedly kept pushing back the date of work. The customer demanded his deposits be returned, at which point he was told by Phommalee the money had been lost to gambling but he was now willing to complete the work.

Phommalee was in court July 28 in front of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry

Attorney Esteban Callejas asked for intervention in lieu of conviction for his client.

Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney James Hoppenjans was not in favor of that recommendation, saying the victim “would significantly be in opposition” to that option.

“We haven’t actually extended any plea offers at this time,” he said. “However, I would say the state’s offer would be for a plea on the F5 theft charge and the state would remain silent at sentencing.”

Mayberry said the court has discretion on the granting of intervention in lieu of conviction.

While the offense does not prohibit it, “it appears to the court that based upon multiple prison sentences, this would not be the case where the court would exercise its discretion in favor of granting that opportunity to the defendant,” he said.

Mayberry then denied the request.

Callejas asked for a trial date to allow him time to discuss the state’s offer with his client.

The final pretrial, where Phommalee can accept the state’s offer, is set for Aug. 25.

So that will be the day where he would either confirm a plea or move forward with a trial date, Mayberry said.

The trial date is Oct. 14.

In June 2005, Phommalee was sentenced to six months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for theft and was told to pay restitution of $643 to, at the time, a business in Northwood and an individual who lived in Bowling Green.

He was to contact a counseling agency for gambling addiction and was ordered not to be inside any premises where gambling is taking place.

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