Cooper enters not guilty plea in case of alleged theft, forgery from Greene Co. charity

By Blake Schnitker on March 2 at 1:05pm

The Carrollton man accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a Greene County charity pleaded not guilty at his arraignment earlier this week.

Forty-two year old Bradley Cooper was arrested back in December following an extensive investigation by multiple Greene County law enforcement agencies into allegations that Cooper had been illegally taking money from a local charity.

The Chloe Foundation is a charity based in Greene County that works to raise money for families with sick children. It was named after the granddaughter of Richard and Yvonne Harp, Chloe Murphy, who passed away in 2010. As the treasurer for the Chloe Foundation for a number of years, Cooper is alleged to have forged signatures and illegally taking money from the charity’s account over the course of five to six years.

Cooper appeared in Greene County court for a scheduled arraignment Wednesday along with his Defense Attorney Carrie Magerl. Also in court was Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe, who explains what occurred during Wednesday’s arraignment, and where the case goes from here.

“Mr. Cooper indicated to the court that he would like to plead not guilty and request a trial with a jury, and we honored that request and set the matter for trial in July. At the pre-trial date (in June), his attorney and myself will talk about possible resolutions that would resolve this short of a trial. Before that date, in the event that we can reach an agreement, we would run that by the court for approval. In the event that we cannot (reach an agreement), as I indicated, the case is set for trial in July, and we would begin that process at that time,” says Briscoe.

Briscoe goes over the various charges against Cooper and the allegations put forth by the prosecution.

“The most serious one is the theft over $10,000 charge – more than $10,000 but less than $100,000 – which makes it a Class 2 felony. We’ve alleged that he has improperly taken over $10,000 but less than $100,000 from the Chloe Foundation. The other charges are forgery, and we’ve alleged that, as a treasurer, (Cooper) was to have all of the checks co-signed, and that he forged the other person’s name who was supposed to co-sign those checks,” Briscoe explains.

As for the possible sentencing range that each charge carries, Briscoe explains the potential penalties Cooper could face if found guilty.

“The Class 2 felony, the maximum possible penalties are three-to-seven years in the department of corrections, and you can also receive probation up to four years. For the Class 3, the forgery offenses, if you’re sentenced to prison, it could be anywhere from two-to-five years. The maximum probation term on that is 30 months or two-and-a-half years,” says Briscoe.

While there is still the possibility of both sides reaching a settlement agreement, Cooper’s pre-trial date is currently set for June 29th at 9:15 a.m., and his jury trial has been scheduled for July 9th at 9 a.m.