Barnes Faces Possible 70 Years Prison

A Sheridan man who's pleaded guilty to stealing $1 million from a local company could face 70 years in prison if given the maximum sentence on all counts.

Ronald Barnes will be sentenced on Thursday at 9 o'clock in district court in Sheridan on five counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and two counts of larceny. He entered the guilty plea under an agreement in which prosecutors will recommend he be sentenced to 8-10 years on each count, but that all the sentences run concurrently. The judge does not need to accept the terms of the plea agreement.

Charging documents allege that while employed at Summit Gas Resources Inc., the defendant made payments from Summit to two dummy corporations he'd set up with himself as sole owner. Payments were made over an eight year period, from April 2004 to December 2012, according to court documents. The defendant was hired by the Sheridan energy company as comptroller (con-TROLL-er) in January of 2004 and was promoted to chief financial officer in 2007.

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