Ernest Beal knew what was in his clients’ best interests.
At least that’s what he told an Allen Superior Court jury Thursday as the final day of his criminal trial wrapped up.
Charged with theft, Beal, 56, was accused of raiding the trust fund accounts of the developmentally impaired residents of his group homes – in order, he said, to pay operating expenses.
But after about 2 1/2 hours of deliberation, the jury didn’t believe him, convicting him of the charge.
Beal is chief operating officer of Your Friends and Neighbors, a company that runs group homes in Indiana and Georgia for adults with developmental impairments. A lawyer and licensed minister, Beal is also the pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in Fort Wayne.
Sentencing is scheduled for next month before Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.
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