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Plattus pleads no contest to misdemeanor embezzlement

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By John Barnhart

    Dan Plattus pleaded no contest, last week in Bedford County Circuit Court, to a misdemeanor embezzlement charge, the result of his unauthorized use of a Bedford Main Street credit card for personal use.

    The plea was the result of an agreement. A no contest plea means that a defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees that there is enough evidence to convict him.
    Judge James Updike gave Plattus a 30-day suspended sentence and 12 months unsupervised probation — the sentence Assistant Com-monwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock asked for according to the terms of the plea deal.
    “We still believe it is a crime to use a credit card for personal benefit,” Wheelock said.
    Wheelock said that Plattus’ use of the card was not authorized by Main Street’s board of directors, “so we believe it is a crime.”
    A Bedford grand jury issued a direct indictment on the charge against Plattus on Aug. 3.
    According to authorities, the Visa credit card had originally been taken out for Bedford Main Street in 1998, but current board members testified at the preliminary hearing that they were unaware the card existed, adding that they weren’t aware of a policy from the board on use of that card.
    Plattus, who resigned from his position as director with Bedford Main Street in February, has since paid the credit card bill off.