Former Marion Fair board member charged with embezzlement

Rebecca Johnson
Rebecca Johnson

REED CITY  — A former board member of the Marion Fair is charged with one count of embezzlement in Osceola County's 77th District Court.

Rebecca Jeanne Johnson, 43, of Marion, is charged with one count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of more than $20,000, but less than $50,000.

According to court documents, the embezzlement took place between January 2014 and September 2015.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office began investigating the Marion Fair Board after it was reported in September exhibitors from the July fair had still not received their money from the sale of livestock.

Once the investigation began, the board's president, along with Johnson, who served as treasurer, resigned from their positions.

In October, a restructured Marion Fair Board was able to pay the more than $37,500 owed to 39 kids awaiting their checks, according to a prior story published by the Herald Review. 

Osceola County Prosecutor Tyler Thompson chose to authorize the embezzlement charge after careful review of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office's investigation.

"They did an excellent job preparing the report," Thompson said. "I know the two detectives investigating the case did a very thorough job and after reviewing their report, I decided a charge was warranted in this case."

The embezzlement charge is a felony, with a possible penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of $15,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.

Johnson's bond is set at $30,000. Her preliminary examination is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, in Osceola County's 77th District Court.