Lori Bolsinger pleads not guilty to fraud charges

The wife of former Ashland Daily Tidings Editor Andrew Scot Bolsinger pleaded not guilty Monday to fraud and theft charges related to the pair's alleged swindling of investors of more than $200,000 through a string of failed downtown Ashland businesses they co-owned while he was the editor.

Lori Bolsinger, 43, made her initial appearance Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to face charges that were part of a 24-count indictment for theft, forgery and identity theft handed up in October against the couple.

Lori Bolsinger faces a first-degree forgery charge for allegedly falsifying a business loan agreement with her husband in March 2007.

The agreement was with the AdvanceMe Inc., a Georgia-based outlet that offers small businesses cash advances against future consumer purchases at the business via credit cards.

A first-degree theft count against Lori Bolsinger accuses her of stealing more than $5,000 in December 2006 from an unidentified victim, the indictment states.

She was booked Monday in the Jackson County Jail and released on her own recognizance.

Lori Bolsinger, who gave court officials an address in Citrus Heights, Calif., was due back Jan. 11 before Jackson County Circuit Judge Raymond White for a pretrial hearing, court records show.

The indictments against the Bolsingers stem from their business dealings in 2006-07, when Scot Bolsinger allegedly parlayed his Daily Tidings editorship into garnering investors who eventually were left in the lurch.

A Mail Tribune investigation last year revealed the Bolsingers and those businesses racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to former employees, suppliers, creditors and investors over a three-year period.

The couple's failed downtown businesses included The Main Source, Pipon's, Lithia Stationers and what became the Jefferson State Pub. The pub ownership later reverted back to its original owners while the other businesses all closed.

An ensuing Ashland Police Department investigation led to the October indictment.

Scot Bolsinger was fired in February 2008 from his post at the Daily Tidings, which is a sister paper to the Mail Tribune.

Scot Bolsinger remains in the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, where he is serving a prison sentence of nearly two years after pleading guilty in July to sex-abuse charges for having illicit sex with a teenage girl he taught, coached and mentored while teaching at a Salem-area Christian academy in 2000.

The victim, now age 26, has filed a civil suit against Scot Bolsinger and the Willamette Valley Christian School.

Filed in Marion County Circuit Court, the civil suit seeks unspecified damages, including punitive damages, and accuses Bolsinger and the school of sexual battery of a child and negligence, court records show.

Bolsinger has yet to be arraigned on the theft and fraud indictment, records show.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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