Gutowski appeared in Superior Court I for his initial hearing on three counts of forgery, class C felonies; and three counts theft, class D felonies. Gutowski told the court he has sought his own legal counsel in the matter. He also told the court that his address is now on East Market Street in Warsaw, and not the 202 Administration Blvd., Winona Lake, address that was initially filed on court documents.
Judge Duane Huffer read the official charges noting the forgery charges stem from Nov. 28, 2011; May 4, 2012; and May 15, 2012, when Gutowski “with intent to defraud, did utter a written instrument in such a manner it purported to have been made by persons in authority.” The thefts coincide with the forgery dates.
Court documents show that on the dates noted, Gutowski completed an insertion order in the amounts of $950, allegedly from Indiana Drug Card; $1,050, from Kenny Vice Ford; and $325 from Air Feet Insoles, none of whom authorized the orders. The thefts were the result that Gutowski “knowingly or intentionally exerted unauthorized control over property — money — from The Papers Inc., with intent to deprive the company of any part of its value or use.”
Huffer noted that class D felonies carry a jail sentence ranging from six months to three years and a class C felony carries two years to eight years jail time. Both have fines of up to $10,000 which could be assessed.
A status conference has been set in the office of the prosecuting attorney for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 7, with a pre-trial and omnibus date set for 8:30 a.m. in Superior Court 1.
The affidavit of probable cause, signed by Travis Marsh of Milford Police Department, states that on July 27, 2012, he was contacted by officials from The Papers Inc. and spoke with the company’s business manager. Collette Knepp advised that Gutowski was an employee of the company as a sales representative and found he had an unusual amount of past due accounts where customers ads were published but failed to pay.
After inquiring into the past due accounts with Gutowski on July 26, he resigned. Marsh spoke with advertising manager Kim Gross who reported they found Gutowski had opened 37 accounts that were 60 days late in payment and that all these accounts were fraudulent. The sales invoices were all made by him and the
customers never agreed to playing the ads.
The ads were all ran by the company and the total loss revenue to The Papers Inc., was $42,073. The affidavit states that Gutowski’s motive for creating the fake ads was to receive the commission on the sales. He received $6,300 in commission for
selling the ads.