The Carrollton man accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a Greene County charity waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and was ordered back in court later this month.
Last week, 42-year old Bradley Cooper appeared in Greene County court for a preliminary hearing regarding a case in which he faces five counts of alleged forgery and one count of theft over $10-thousand dollars but less than $100-thousand dollars. The allegations against Cooper stem from an extensive investigation by Greene County law enforcement agencies in which they discovered a number of falsified financial records in the account for a Greene County charity, the Chloe Foundation.
Cooper turned himself in to Greene County authorities back on December 20th after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The alleged crimes are believed to have taken place over the course of five to seven years, when Cooper served as treasurer of the Chloe Foundation, which organizes a number of fundraising activities to assist families with sick children.
Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe explains what occurred at Cooper’s preliminary hearing.
“At the hearing (Cooper) waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the matter was set for an arraignment on February 28th, at which time he will have the chance to plead either guilty or not guilty to the charges. In the event that he pleads not guilty, then the matter will be set for trial, most likely in April,” says Briscoe.
Briscoe goes over the possible sentencing range Cooper could face if found guilty.
“The most most serious charge would be the theft over $10,000, less than $100,000, that’s a Class 2 felony. The maximum possible penalties for that is anywhere from three to seven years in the Department of Corrections. It is a probational offense, so you can get probation on it, with a maximum term of probation being up to four years and a maximum fine up to $25,000. And of course, in the event that (Cooper) was to plead guilty or be found guilty at a trial, the state would be seeking restitution of the total amount that we believe was wrongfully acquired,” Briscoe explains.
According to Briscoe, the amount of money allegedly stolen from the charity was closer to $100-thousand dollars than to $10-thousand dollars. As for the defense, Cooper has hired private council, Attorney Carrie Magerl. Briscoe explains that he and the defense team plan on meeting to go over the large amounts of financial documents the State plans to use, and possibly reach a resolution prior to a potential trial.
If State’s Attorney Briscoe and Defense Attorney Magerl are unable to reach a compromise before then, Cooper’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 28th at 1:15.