Insurance fraud case
WARREN — Two Liberty Township residents have been secretly indicted on charges of insurance fraud by a Trumbull County grand jury. Those arraigned Friday before Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court are Tony L. Pascale, 54, and Gina M. Pascale, 51, both of 4648 Logan Gate Road. They pleaded innocent to one count each of insurance fraud, telecommunications fraud and theft. They were both released on personal recognizance bonds. Deena L. DeVico, an assistant county prosecutor, said she cannot discuss the case. A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Insurance said the agency is aware of the case but couldn’t discuss it.
A costly defense
AKRON — Taxpayers shelled out nearly $483,000 to pay the court defense of a Mercer County woman accused in her wealthy husband’s death. Donna Moonda, 48, was convicted earlier this year of aiding and abetting in the shooting death of her husband, Hermitage urologist Dr. Gulam Moonda. He was shot in the head while in the passenger side of his car on the Ohio Turnpike. Donna Moonda had been driving and abruptly pulled over. Her boyfriend, Damian Bradford, 26, admitted to the shooting and testified the two had plotted so they could share the doctor’s millions. Court records show that the court-approved payments went to defense experts including a psychologist and an investigator. The bulk of the costs went to her three attorneys for legal fees. They were Roger Synenberg, Larry Whitney and David Grant.
LIBERTY — Township police are trying to figure out the identity of the intruder who startled a couple and fought with the male homeowner in his home Friday morning. According to police reports, a 65-year-old homeowner in the 2900 block of Youngstown-Hubbard Road heard a loud noise and got out of bed to investigate just after 4 a.m. The man was met by a slim man carrying a flashlight. The two men, reports said, fought until the intruder ran out of the house. Reports do not list any missing items.
Officer files lawsuit
HUBBARD — A city police officer said he was passed over for a promotion and is suing the city and city officials to get that promotion. The complaint filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court states that officer Christopher Moffit came in third on a promotional test for the rank of sergeant. In the complaint, Moffit says the two higher-scoring officers were promoted and he was not when a sergeant position became available. He is asking to be promoted to sergeant and have all court costs paid by the defendants.
Facing burglary charge
NILES — A 33-year-old Warren man was caught red-handed with the goods, police say. Charles J. Zell Jr., of Deerfield Avenue Southwest, was arraigned Friday in municipal court on a charge of burglary. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4, and he was freed after posting a $2,500 bond. Police said they were called by a neighbor to a house in the 100 block of Maple Avenue about 4 p.m. Thursday. Zell was caught walking up the basement stairs with a duffle bag full of copper pipe and fittings, police said. The copper had been stripped from the basement.
STRUTHERS — The Struthers Board of Health Vital Statistics Office is merging with the Youngstown District Board of Heath Vital Statistics Office, effective Jan. 7. The last day of business for the Struthers office is Jan. 3. On Jan. 7, Struthers residents can obtain birth and death certificates and burial permits at the Youngstown Board of Health, Oakhill Renaissance Center, 345 Oakhill Ave., Suite 200, Youngstown.
Craig Beach panel
CRAIG BEACH — Village council’s police committee will meet at 10 this morning for an update and review of the police department. The meeting will be in council chambers at the village municipal building.
Milton Twp. vacancy
LAKE MILTON — The Milton Township Zoning Department has a vacancy on its board of appeals. Any township resident interested in the position may send a letter of interest to Jenifer Terry, township zoning inspector, at P.O. Box 308, Lake Milton, Ohio 44429. The letter must be received no later than Jan. 15.