Ohioan to repay $35,000 in alleged charity theft

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NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's attorney general says a woman charged with embezzling $35,000 from a former children's charity will be allowed to repay money in lieu of conviction.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says a judge in New Lexington on Monday ordered 64-year-old Martha Springer to make restitution and perform community service in lieu of conviction on an embezzlement charge. The money is to be spent on gifts and holiday programs for needy children.

Springer operated the former Perry County charity Tips for Tots. Authorities say she stole from the charity between January 2008 and December 2010 to fund a gambling addiction.

Prosecutors had argued for full conviction and restitution.

Springer's telephone number was not immediately available. A message was left for her attorney.

New Lexington is about 45 miles southeast of Columbus.