Prelim set for fair board member accused of embezzlement

ALPENA — Bradley Avery, the former Alpena County Fair Board member accused of embezzlement, will face a preliminary examination at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 25.

Prosecutors, Avery and Judge Thomas LaCross set the date during a probable cause hearing on Tuesday.

Avery was arrested on Aug. 31 and charged with embezzlement. He was arrested at his home after the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of embezzlement from the Alpena County Fair Board on Feb. 8.

Neither Avery or his defense attorney commented on the case on Tuesday.

According to the felony complaint against Avery, he embezzleed funds from the Future Farmers of America and the Alpena Agricultural Society while he was the Fair Board treasurer. Police said Avery embezzled money over a span of three years.

Avery was arrested on six counts: one count of embezzlement of $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, two counts of embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization and three counts of using a financial transaction device illegally.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Russell Rhynard said probable cause hearings are new to the prosecuting process.

“It’s an effort to get the attorney and the prosecuting attorney together for the first time along with the defendant to see if it’s a case that can be resolved,” Rhynard said. “In this case, it didn’t result in any kind of resolution so the next stage would be a preliminary examination.”

The preliminary examination is where probable cause has to be shown that a crime was committed.

If probable cause is found, the case will be bound over to 26th Judicial Circuit Court.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5688.