Avery sentencing delayed

Former Fair Board member has kidney stone, attorney says

News Photo by Julie Riddle The Alpena County Fairgrounds are seen on Monday. Bradley Avery, a former member of the Fair Board, has yet to repay more than $16,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to embezzlement, according to court records.

ALPENA–A court appearance for Bradley Avery, the former Alpena County Fair Board treasurer who has pleaded guilty to embezzlement, was postponed by request of the defense, who cited an ongoing medical condition including a kidney stone as the reason for the delay.

Avery, the defense said in paperwork filed Friday, was poised to be sent to the University of Michigan for medical treatment, requesting that the sentencing scheduled for Monday be postponed until July 22.

An attorney for Avery did not return a message seeking comment on Monday.

Avery, a former Fair Board treasurer, in May admitted to embezzling more than $16,000.

As part of the plea agreement, if Avery does not pay full restitution of the $16,642 in embezzled funds by the sentencing date, the prosecution may set aside his plea deal.

According to the county Clerk’s Office, no payments have been made by Avery as of Monday.

Avery was arrested in August 2018 and charged with six offenses related to the theft of thousands of dollars from the Alpena Agricultural Society over several years while he served on the Fair Board. In order to pay back the Agricultural Society, Avery used his position to steal funds from the youth organization Future Farmers of America, creating artificial financial reports to conceal his actions.

Avery’s actions jeopardized the fair’s financial viability, victimizing not only the Fair Board and members of the Agricultural Society, but also all those who participate in the county fair, according to a motion filed by Alpena County Prosecutor Ed Black.

Avery pleaded to one count of embezzlement of more than $1,000 and less than $20,000 from a nonprofit, with the remaining five charges dismissed.

Avery agreed to pay $16,642 to the Alpena Agricultural Society, plus $13,520 for accountant bills, for a total restitution of about $30,000.

The charge to which Avery pleaded guilty could receive a sentence of up to 10 years’ incarceration and/or a $15,000 fine.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX