A woman who once enjoyed a reputation as the wife of a top Wendy’s restaurant executive is now a convicted felon, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reported on Monday.
Anita Barney, who helped convict ex-Buckeye Art Schlichter as part of a sports-ticket scheme that bilked people out of more than $2 million, admitted to two counts of theft involving more than $400,000.
As part of a plea deal, Barney was sentenced to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
A prosecutor said that the sentence was lenient because Barney cooperation by secretly recording Schlichter’s phone calls, which helped convict him.
Former friend Dean Hughes said that he was a victim of Barney.
“She said, ‘could you lend me 30,’” Hughes said. “I said, ‘Nita, that’s all I’ve got. That’s my life savings.’ She said, ‘Are you questioning me? I am not going to mess you over.’”
Hughes said that he now lives on Social Security after Barney stole his life savings. Barney used the money to fuel a ticket scheme involving former quarterback Art Schlichter.
Barney has said that she took the money because Schlichter coerced her into it.
The woman’s victims said that Barney was just as guilty as Schlichter, Aker reported.
“We are innocent bystanders,” said David Froggatt. “She preyed upon us, the same way Art (did).”
Another unnamed victim said that his grandchildren’s’ college accounts were stolen.
Barney did not apologize to her victims in court on Monday but tried to apologize to her former friends in the hallway after the sentencing.
A judge said that he had been fooled by a woman who previously seemed remorseful.
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