PERRYSBURG (WTOL) - The former president of the Perrysburg Heights Community Association has been indicted on money laundering, corrupt activity and theft charges, according to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office.
Jason Craig was taken into custody on Sept. 27 by the U.S. Marshal Service in Cleveland on Sept. 27 on charges stemming from his management of the Perrysburg Heights Community Center.
He was arraigned before Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Reeve Kelsey on Monday and was released on a $25,000 bond.
On Sept. 19, an indictment was handed down against Craig on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated theft and four counts of money laundering.
Craig allegedly misappropriated more than $230,000 from the Perrysburg Heights Community Association for his own personal use.
“While we are at the beginning stages of the prosecution of this case, it represents the continuing commitment of this office to hold accountable those who abuse the trust of the public when they are placed in positions of authority, especially over funds entrusted to them by those who willingly donate to not-for-profit organizations,” said Paul Dobson, Wood County prosecutor.
Craig was president of the association from 2012-15. PHCA runs the Perrysburg Heights Community Center, which provides program and assistance to community members in the Perrysburg Heights neighborhood.
Concerns were raised during Craig's tenure about his handling of funds and the center's financial health, especially in the wake of a botched hip-hop concert that was to be a key fundraiser for the center.
The concert and festival event was supposed to be a fundraiser for the center but it turned out to be bust. There were problems with promoters and most of the headliners were a no-show. Ten thousand fans were expected; only 1,000 showed.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office Charitable Law Section was contacted and an investigation was launched into the association. The results were forwarded to the Wood County Prosecutor's OFfice.
Investigator Doug Kinder, certified fraud examiner, conducted an intensive financial investigation with the cooperation of law enforcement and PHCA adminstration, into money managed by Craig.
Findings were forwarded to the Wood County Grand Jury, which resulted in an indictment, which was sealed from public view until Craig was taken into custody.
The corrupt activity charge is a first-degree felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 11 years. Aggravated theft and money laundering are third-degree felonies and carry maximum prison sentences of up to three years each.
Craig had moved to Cleveland after he was removed as president of the PHCA.
He is to be back before Judge Kelsey for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 19 and a jury trial is to start Jan. 15, 2019.