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Snyder pays restitution in elder abuse case

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In an elder exploitation case, a Lake County man had his imposition of sentencing deferred for three years and was ordered to pay restitution of $10,980 to the victim.

Merlyn James Snyder, 37, pled guilty to exploitation of an older person in an earlier appearance at District Court in Polson. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of deceptive practices.

According to charging documents, a woman born in 1935 called the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on August 2, 2018, to report more than $4,000 missing from her bank account. As she was making the report, co-defendant Shawn Field, 33, allegedly texted the victim saying she had just deposited $200 back into the account while admitting to making the unauthorized transactions. 

Records show the unauthorized transactions occurred between April and August of 2018 while Field and Snyder were employed by the victim. The charges also accuse Field of not returning a borrowed vehicle and law enforcement had to intervene.

Field was released from custody and has not been seen since. Her case was set for trial on June 24. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Merlyn was given credit for having served 157 days in the Lake County jail and ordered to pay the cost of his public defender of $800. He was still in custody as of July 4.

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