Wife of former Tidings editor pleads guilty

Lori Bolsinger, wife of former Ashland Daily Tidings Editor Andrew Scot Bolsinger, pleaded guilty Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to a single count each of first-degree theft and first-degree forgery.

Lori Bolsinger, 43, received 18 months' probation and 24 hours of community service for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

Bolsinger turned over two checks totaling $7,000 before being sentenced by Judge Ray White. The payments were to victims in the case, her attorney said in court.

The two felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors as part of a plea agreement related to a 24-count indictment for theft, forgery and identity theft handed up in October 2009 against the couple.

Lori Bolsinger declined to comment outside the courtroom. Her comments to the judge were brief and offered in a quiet voice.

"I apologize," she said. "I am sorry."

Bolsinger's first charge is for first-degree forgery for falsifying a business loan agreement along with her husband in March 2007. The first-degree theft count accused her of stealing more than $5,000 in December 2006 from a former lifelong friend, Elaine Leffler, whose statement was read in court by prosecutor Rachel Bridges.

Leffler said in the statement that she entered into investments with the Bolsingers based on her complete trust in Lori Bolsinger. They'd grown up together, attending proms and driving matching Mustangs. As friends they had survived births, deaths and divorces together, Leffler said.

Her investment totaled $123,000. She lost all that money, plus an additional $76,000 in legal fees for a total loss of $199,000.

Lori Bolsinger was also a victim, argued her attorney, saying Scot Bolsinger was the mastermind of the couple's actions.

Scot Bolsinger was fired in February 2008 from his post at the Daily Tidings. In April, he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree theft and one count each of first-degree forgery and identity theft. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 19 other similar counts against him. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

He was already serving a prison sentence of nearly two years after pleading guilty in July 2009 to sex-abuse charges for having illicit sex with a teenage girl while teaching at a Salem-area Christian academy in 2000.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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