A Powhatan Point woman was sentenced last week for her role in the theft of thousands of dollars from Memorial Park Cemetery in Belmont County.

Karen Sue Neff, 48, was found guilty in Belmont County Common Pleas Court in January of theft, secure writings by deception, and forgery after thousands of dollars were taken from the Memorial Park Cemetery’s bank account. Neff was sentenced to four years and six months in the Ohio Reformatory for Women and was ordered to pay restitution.

In the middle of January, Paloma Resources LLC, a gas and oil company, testified against Neff after she signed a gas and oil lease for the Belmont County Memorial Park Association. Neff received a check for more than $282,000 which she has been ordered to pay back.

Her husband, Keith Baratie, faces similar charges. His trial is pending.

The financial shortages were discovered when people complained that the cemetery was not being maintained.