After more than two years, Ivan Maldonado’s trial is finally under way.
The former president of Youngstown State University’s Association of Classified Employees union was charged with 10 counts of theft, two counts each of theft in office and falsification, and one each of grand theft and tampering with records.
Over an 11-year span, Ivan Maldonado is accused of manipulating documents to allow his nephew, Anthony Maldonado, to attain tuition remission at YSU, resulting in more than $30,000 over six years.
Bob Bush, prosecuting attorney, alleges that Anthony Maldonado was ineligible to receive tuition, as he was denoted as “child” on the tuition remission request paperwork.
Bush provided a copy of the request form as evidence. However, in the cross-examination of Anthony Maldonado, attorney Gerald Ingram, Maldonado’s attorney, presented a similar, yet more extensive version. This version included a memo from Ivan Maldonado’s tax preparation service, Mary Lewis Tax Services, which indicated that Ivan Maldonado claimed Anthony Maldonado as a dependent.
Under the YSU-ACE agreement when Maldonado was employed in YSU’s payroll office, dependents, along with individuals claimed as dependents for taxation purposes, were eligible to receive tuition remission.
Ivan Maldonado was reluctant to comment on specifics of the case as it is still ongoing, but he said the truth will come out in evidence and testimony as the trial progresses.
Former payroll manager Ron Granger’s garnishment is also under review, with Ivan Maldonado being accused of manipulating documents to reduce Granger’s garnishment amount from $500 to $121.
Granger testified that he opened an account with the Associated School Employees Credit Union to avoid larger garnishments.
Ingram said the frequent change in garnishment policies and Granger’s actions resulted in the change in amount, and wasn’t a result of unlawful actions by his client.
Lastly, Ivan Maldonado has been charged with fabricating paperwork to permit former YSU employees to attain retirement credit for previous part-time employment. Ingram claimed this was attributable to an understaffed payroll office and an ill-maintained record keeping process.
Bush rested the state’s case on Tuesday, and Ivan Maldonado’s defense, represented by Ingram, will begin on Thursday. The court was in recess on Wednesday, as visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny was committed elsewhere. A verdict is expected by the end of the week.