Wages Garnished To Ensure Restitution Payment

WARSAW — Steve Gutowski, 43, West Market Street, Columbia City, was back in court today Friday, April 21, in a proceedings supplemental. The matter pertained to non payment of restitution to The Papers, Inc.

A brief hearing was held in Kosciusko Superior Court 1 where Judge David Cates ordered garnishment of wages against Gutowski.

Gutowski was sentenced in July 2013 on three counts of forgery and three counts of theft. He was sentenced to two years on each count, with all but four years to be served concurrent. He was also ordered to pay restitution to The Papers Inc. in the amount of $68,830.40. While Gutowski made four payments in 2015 totaling $600, no payment had been received by the judgement defendant since that time and the proceedings supplemental requested.

Gutowski stated during the hearing it is difficult to pay the restitution while he was incarcerated and on work release. He noted he has been rebuilding his life from scratch since being released, repaying school loans and back taxes. He also noted he was divorced during his incarceration. “I’m not here to object but to make arrangements.”

Cates asked Gutowski how he planned on getting the restitution paid. After responding with a question to Collette Knepp, business manager for The Papers Inc., to what was acceptable to her, Cates reiterated his question. It was noted by Gutowski he receives 26 paychecks a year and is working at KC Jones Plating, further known as C&R Plating.

Cates ruled for a garnishment order to be sent to Gutowski’s employer, taking the payments from his paycheck.

The Case

A former sales representative for The Municipal, a publication of The Papers Inc., Gutowski submitted advertising for the publication with false documentation and received a commission on those ads.

The charges stem from Nov. 28, 2011; May 4, 2012; and May 15, 2012, when he filled out insertion order forms in the amount of $950 allegedly from Indiana Drug Card; $1,050 from Kenny Vice Ford; and $325 from Air Fee Insoles, none of which authorized the insertion orders. From those falsified documents, Gutowski received $520.50 in sales commission from those ads.

Authorities were notified July 27, 2012, Gutowski had an unusual amount of past due accounts where customers ads were published, but they had failed to pay for the ads. After inquiring into the past due accounts with Gutowski  July 26, he resigned from the company.

Company officials found Gutowski had opened 37 accounts that were 60 days late in payment and all of the accounts were fraudulent. The sales invoices were all drafted by him and the customers never agreed to placing the ads. The ads were all run by the company and the total loss revenue to The Papers Inc. was $42,073. The initial court documents state Gutowski’s motive for creating the fraudulent ads was to receive the commission on the sales. He received $6,300 in commission for “sales.”

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