By: Jacob Kessler
Becky Rhodes from Wauseon is being charged with grand theft following a grand jury indictment this past week.
The indictment states that the grand jury found that Becky Rhodes, on or about September 19th, 2019, through October 19th, 2020, purposefully used money from the Hardee Family Benefit at a value of at least $7,500 or more but less then $150,000.
The charge for this violation is Grand Theft which is a felony of the fourth degree.
The Hardee Family Benefit was created in 2019 in response to a motorcycle collision that took place on 10-2 and SR 20.
Randy Hardee and his fiancé, Taylor Bentley, were in the motorcycle collision that ended with Bentley being killed and Hardee being seriously injured. Bentley left behind a ten-month-old and four-year-old when she passed away.
Hardee’s sister Dara Lavinder explained that while Randy was in the hospital, a benefit was held by his workplace.
The benefit was headed up Rhodes who volunteered to create a bank account for the benefit. The benefit brought in roughly $54,000 with so many people coming to offer their support for the family.
Following a conversation with another person who had a benefit account set up by Rhodes, and hearing that there was money missing from their account, Hardee looked into his account.
Upon checking, he was told that the account had been closed and that it was only open for around a year.
They were then able to get a subpoena for the bank records and saw that the money had been withdrawn.
Stacy Lichtenwald also gave information regarding another incident that took place with Rhodes.
Her sons girlfriend, McKayla Parker, was in a car accident back on June 5th, of 2022.
At the time she was working with Becky Rhodes at the Das Essen Haus restaurant she runs near Pettisville.
McKayla was taken by air ambulance to Toledo, and then transferred again up to a hospital in Michigan.
Stacy explained that, within an hour of being in Toledo, Becky was already at the hospital telling them that she would be able to hold a benefit for her.
This benefit took place in July and comprised of selling tickets for chicken and brisket dinners. When the funds were placed into a bank account, Stacy was added onto the bank account.
McKayla required facial reconstruction due to her injuries along with dental work for her two front teeth that had been busted out.
Following several dentist appointments, it was time to schedule a procedure that would help. When Becky was asked for funds to help, there was no follow through.
Stacy explained that she proceeded to go to the bank and withdraw the money herself. When she got there, the account only had .07 cents left, and the bank records showed four transfers to Becky’s business account.
When she was confronted with this information, Stacy says she was told it had to be due to a bank error.
Stacy also said that she has heard other people have been affected in a similar way and that she hopes justice is served.
“There are more people being victimized then what is being brought forth and she needs to be held accountable.”
“I don’t want it to be ignored. She needs to be held accountable for everything whether its small or big,” said Stacy Lichtenwald.
Currently, court records show the only case being attended to has to do with the account for the Hardee family. It is not known if other cases will be brought concerning other parties.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org