Tidings editor charged with 23 felonies

Andrew Scot Bolsinger, former editor of the Daily Tidings, was indicted Thursday on 23 felony theft and forgery counts, related to a string of failed businesses in downtown Ashland.

A Jackson County grand jury also indicted Bolsinger's wife, Lori Bolsinger, on two felony counts, one for forgery and one for theft.

The grand jury indicted the couple on all the counts Deputy District Attorney Rachel Bridges asked for and "recommended adding more," Bridges said. The additional charges "were already added," she said this morning.

Bolsinger is suspected of committing at least one of the crimes at the Daily Tidings office on Siskiyou Boulevard, Bridges said.

People working at the office during that time may be called as witnesses in the upcoming trial for the case, she said. Bolsinger was fired from the Daily Tidings in February 2008.

Bolsinger was sentenced in July to 20 months in prison for illicit sex with a teenage girl who was a student at a Salem-area Christian academy where he taught in 2000.

At Thursday's grand jury meeting, a continuation of an Oct. 8 indictment, Bolsinger was indicted on nine counts of aggravated theft, nine counts of forgery, two counts of theft and three counts of identity theft. All of the charges are felonies.

If Bolsinger is convicted of the charges, he will likely be sentenced to prison time, Bridges said. It's unlikely that Lori, if convicted, would go to prison, Bridges said.

Bridges said Lori may be surprised at the indictment. "This is going to be brand new information to Lori Bolsinger that she's been indicted," Bridges said.

For much of last year, Ashland police were actively investigating the Bolsingers for theft and fraud stemming from a string of failed downtown businesses, including Lithia Stationery, Pipon's restaurant, The Siskiyou Pub and The Main Source copy shop.

The Bolsingers accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts, including IRS liens and penalties for failing to pay employees' payroll taxes.

Bridges said she would not give details on the case but said it involves more than $200,000 that was "fraudulently obtained through theft or forgeries."

Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness said he believed the case involved about $300,000 in fraudulent loans and $500,000 thousand in missing investors' money, but Bridges would not confirm those amounts.

Bridges did say that all of the crimes occurred during the time the Bolsingers were living in Ashland.

"Most of the crimes are related directly to specific victims," she said.

If the Bolsingers are convicted, the court can grant restitution to the victims and "in theory the victims can get their money back," Bridges said. But if the Bolsingers aren't financially able to pay back the money, the victims could be left empty handed, Bridges added.

Ashland police completed their investigation of the case in late 2008 and sent it to the Oregon Department of Justice at the request of the Jackson County District Attorney's office. The state lawyers had the case for 10 ten months before they decided not to pursue it further, Holderness said.

Ashland officers issued more than 40 subpoenas for financial documents during the investigation, Holderness said.

"It took a considerable amount of time," he said. "There were literally boxes of financial documents to go through."

Holderness said he was glad to see the case progressing.

"I'm satisfied with indictment because it's consistent with the charges and actions uncovered with the investigation," he said. "I wish it would have gone a lot of sooner for all of the victims involved."

Editor's note: Staff writer Hannah Guzik began working at the paper after Bolsinger was fired from the Daily Tidings in February 2008

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.

Share This Story