The former owner of a Strongsville realty office has pleaded not guilty to stealing money his employees thought was going to charity.
Bond has been set at $10,000 for William Snyder, 48, of Parma. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Suster was assigned to hear the case.
Snyder faces one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office. He and his former business partner, Kevin Beaver, 43, of Lakewood, are accused of failing to turn over money realtors donated to the Children's Miracle Network to the charity.
Beaver has already pleaded guilty to the crime.
Strongsville Police launched the investigation last December after some real estate agents from the Strongsville RE/MAX office came forward with allegations.
"The donations were coming out of their commission checks," Detective Lt. John Janowski said. "They wanted to get a total for their tax returns, so they called the Children's Miracle Network. They were told they didn't have a total."
Mason's office said Snyder and Beaver formed RE/MAX Classic in 2005, operating the business out of three locations, including Strongsville. They arranged to have each agent contribute a certain percentage of their commissions to University Hospitals for the Children's Miracle Network.
The company made several donations in 2005, but stopped in 2006. Between 2006 and 2009, Snyder and Beaver failed to make a donation to the charity and instead kept the money themselves, the prosecutor said.
When that came to light last December, the pair made a $44,000 payment and an $8,000 payment to Children's Miracle Network to cover the funds deducted from realtors' commissions checks for several years.
On Oct. 20, Beaver pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony. He was sentenced Nov. 4 to five years of community control sanctions.
The case was investigated by Strongsville police and Mason's office.