PRINCETON, Ind. — A Vincennes, Indiana woman was booked at the Gibson County Jail Monday afternoon on multiple felony forgery and fraud charges, and is free on $1,500 cash bond pending a first appearance in Gibson Circuit Court at 10 a.m. Aug. 2.
Special Judge August Straus signed the warrant Monday for the arrest of Neely Held, 25, Vincennes, who faces 22 felony counts filed in June by Gibson County Prosecutor Michael Cochren.
Cochren filed the charges against Held, a former newspaper advertising sales representative, following an investigation by the Princeton Police Department into a theft reported April 10 by Paxton Media Group Regional Publisher Mike Weafer and Regional Advertising Director Courtney Shuttle.
The report was made after Held resigned April 6 when she was questioned by Shuttle about reports of some unauthorized advertising placed in The Princeton Daily Clarion, The Mount Carmel Register and The Vincennes Sun-Commercial.
Held is charged with one count of felony theft from PMG, parent company of the three newspapers, for commission paid to her for the unauthorized ads. She is also charged with 14 counts of felony forgery against advertisers, and seven counts of felony fraud associated with her alleged use of customer credit cards.
Police allege in an affidavit of probable cause for the charges that she used customer credit cards to charge other business accounts, placed false ads and forged signatures on advertising contracts, created two fake checks, used a customer's credit card to buy personal items and was paid commission for ads that were not authorized.
According to the police affidavit, the overcharges and unauthorized charges exceeded $125,000. The newspapers issued credits to businesses affected by Held's alleged actions.
She was booked at the Gibson County Jail at 1:54 p.m. Monday and released after posting bond.