Ex-Ashland editor's wife makes deal, avoids jail in thefts

Lori Bolsinger, wife of the former editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings, pleaded guilty today in Jackson County Circuit Court to a single count each of first-degree theft and first-degree forgery.

Bolsinger, 43, was sentenced by Judge Ray White to 18 months' probation and 24 hours of community service for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

Bolsinger turned over two checks totaling $7,000 before the sentencing. Her attorney described them as representing her personal responsibility in a larger debt.

The two felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors and are part of a plea agreement related to a 24-count indictment for theft, forgery and identity theft handed up in October 2009 against Bolsinger and her husband, former Tidings editor Andrew Scot Bolsinger.

Lori Bolsinger's comments were brief today.

"I apologize," she said. "I am sorry."

Bolsinger's forgery charge was for falsifying a business loan agreement with her husband in March 2007. The first-degree theft count accuses her of stealing more than $5,000 in December 2006 from a victim whose statement was read in court by prosecutor Rachel Bridges.

The woman's statement said she was a lifelong friend of Bolsinger. She entered into investments with the Bolsingers based on trust. Her investment totaled $123,000. She lost all that money, plus an additional $76,000 in legal fees for a total loss of $199,000, she said.

Lori Bolsinger was also a victim, argued her attorney, who said Scot Bolsinger was the mastermind of the couple's actions.

Scot Bolsinger was fired in February 2008 from his post at the Daily Tidings. In April, he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree theft and one count each of first-degree forgery and identity theft. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 19 other similar counts against him. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

He was already serving a prison sentence of nearly two years after pleading guilty in July 2009 to sex-abuse charges for having illicit sex with a teenage girl while teaching at a Salem-area Christian academy in 2000.

— Sanne Specht

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