Former Ashland Food Co-op worker pleads guilty to embezzling $12,595

A former Ashland Food Co-operative checker who embezzled $12,595 from the grocery store pleaded guilty Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to four counts of first-degree theft.

Judge Tim Barnack sentenced Corina Silva, 31, to two years' probation and ordered her to repay the money. In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a single count of the theft charges.

Ashland police arrested Silva in May, after their investigation concluded she was systematically stealing between $20 and $600 each week from January until her arrest.

Silva took the cash from store registers while scanning coupons worth money. Co-op records show that Silva was stealing money every few days, said Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness.

She was originally arrested for first-degree aggravated theft, which is a Class B felony and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, police said.

The charges were reduced after the district attorney reviewed the case. Silva has no criminal history.

Silva worked at the co-op for more than two years, and was well-liked by employees and customers at the store, said Richard Katz, general manager, at the time of Silva's arrest.

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