Pastor sentenced for theft from local business


By Staff Report

A Muskingum County resident, who is a pastor for a Columbus area church, was sentenced Monday morning for his theft of over $10,000 from a local business.

Nathaniel Robinson, 36-years-old, has a documented history of criminal activity and conducting complex schemes designed to steal money and items from unsuspecting victims.

Having threatened to kill a teller when he robbed a bank in the early 2000s, prosecutors and judges in Muskingum County were however unable to send Robinson to prison because of state statute.

According to Muskingum County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Michael Hughes, Robinson had developed a scheme while working for Maxwell’s Drive-thru & Pizzeria where he made it appear he was paying out lottery winnings.

In reality, there were no winnings, and Robinson in the course of a few weeks had paid himself thousands upon thousands of dollars that wouldn’t be reimbursed by the State of Ohio’s Lottery Commission.

The crime was easily detected, Hughes added, but not before the money had already been stolen from Maxwell’s.

Having committed the offense in August and September of last year, Robinson was indicted in November and pleaded guilty this February.

He was charged with one count of theft between $7,500 and $150,000, a fourth-degree felony.

In court Monday, Robinson’s attorney, David Mortimer, asked for leniency for his client citing the fact that he was locally employed and that any time incarcerated would hinder his ability to pay restitution.

Robinson has seven children, a wife that doesn’t work and is a paster in Columbus, Mortimer added in Robinson’s defense.

Mortimer said that if Robinson was to receive local jail time, and not community control as they were asking, that he would hope the judge would allow for house arrest in lieu of a sentence in the Muskingum County Jail.

Robinson told the judge that he apologizes to the court and his wife for his actions.

“What I did was extremely wrong,” Robinson continued.

Further, Robinson said he was expecting to receive his tax return shortly and would be able to pay back roughly half of the money he stole.

Judge Kelley Cottrill questioned Robinson’s sincerity citing a lengthy criminal history.

In a 2003 bank robbery, Robinson handed a note to a teller that he had written on which said if she didn’t hand over the money, he would shoot her.

Franklin County reduced the charges and only imposed a two-year prison sentence in the matter.

In another case, Robinson stole the credit cards of fellow employees and made unauthorized purchases.

Robinson charged over $1,000 to porn sites as well as sexually explicit chat sites.

The judge then continued, citing theft after theft, including writing a bad check and receiving stolen property.

“Someone gives you a job and you stole from them,” said Cottrill in reference to the Maxwell’s robbery scheme.

“They were paying you money to be there,” Cottrill continued. “This money you offer up, your tax returns, it’s partially money from your employment there.”

Cottrill took a long pause, look downed at Robinson’s large criminal file and asked Hughes if it was correct that he couldn’t impose prison time in his case due to state statute.

Hughes replied that it was true, that Robinson could not be sent to prison even with his lengthy past criminal record which dated back to when he was a teenager.

Unable to send him to prison, Cottrill sentenced Robinson to five years of community control, 6 months of local incarceration, 50 hours of public service, court cost of $871 and restitution to Maxwell’s in the amount of $12,871 with a deferred prison sentence of 17 months should he commit another crime while on community control.

Cas Maxwell, owner of Maxwell’s Drive-thru & Pizzeria, released the following statement upon hearing of Robinson’s sentencing when contacted by Y-City News.

“We try hard to make this a good place to work and to have someone take advantage of us in a year that was hard for all businesses is beyond frustrating. I’m glad he was caught to prevent this from happening to other businesses. If the restitution is paid then the sentence is just.”