Fulton County woman indicted for grand theft, accused of stealing from grieving family

The indictment says Becky Rhodes took more than $7,500, but less than $150,000.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:53 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Becky Rhodes of Wauseon is being charged with grand theft after a Fulton County Grand Jury indicted her this week.

She’s accused of stealing thousands from long-time co-worker Randy Hardee.

“Somebody that you’re supposed to trust and is supposed to be close like family and treat you like family.... how can they do this to you?” said Hardee’s sister Dara Lavinder. “Somebody who was at their lowest, she preyed on.”

In 2019, Hardee and his fiancé, Taylor Bentley, were in a motorcycle accident. Bentley was killed and Hardee was seriously hurt. The couple has two children together who were four and 10-months-old at the time.

Hardee’s workplace decided to hold a community fundraiser for the family. Rhodes volunteered to create a bank account for the money. Hardee wasn’t given access to the account.

“They don’t normally put the victim or whoever they’re having the benefit for on that account because they’ve had it where they come out of the hospital and they start having a woe-is-me moment and spend all the money,” Lavinder said.

Lavinder says the the community donated $54,000 during the fundraiser. Her brother only spent $14,000. When Hardee went to check on the account, the bank told him it had been closed out.

“The money was taken from my brother. But it was also taken from family, friends, you know, people he’s built relationships with. She took from them,” Lavinder said.

The Hardee family may not be alone. A former employee at Rhodes’ Das Essen Haus Restaurant says she was in a car accident in June. Rhodes set up a fund for her, but the money mysteriously went missing.

“It hurt really, really bad and it’s something I didn’t see her doing,” Mckaylah Parker said. “But after I found out she’s done it to other people, it disgusts me. Like how can you do that to sick and hurt people? How? I don’t get it?”

Rhodes is due in court on May 18 for a pre-trial hearing. She’s out on personal recognizance bond until then.

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