SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 12, 2014

Man who stole from arts group says he shouldn't have to repay money

(Continued)

That’s when he and his attorney, Gordon Feener, showed up at court last month asking Judge John Lu to end his restitution based on the fact that at the time the Yellow School was no longer an active organization.

“Restitution is personal to the victim, and not an asset to be freely traded in the marketplace,” Feener argued, suggesting that it would “go against public policy” to allow a new entity to begin receiving the payments.

Feener also disputed the contention that Takesian is responsible for the group’s demise, blaming others in the organization for failing to file required financial reports with the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Massachusetts.

Lora McSherry, a lawyer working with Paula Wright on reviving the organization, said the group would partner with an existing community organization to provide an arts program in the area. She declined to identify the organization, citing the fact that while the Secretary of State’s office has allowed the Yellow School nonprofit to be legally reinstated as a corporation, she will still need both Lu’s order and an order from the Supreme Judicial Court to allow the assets of the old organization to be transferred to the new entity.

If allowed by the judge, those assets would include the restitution payments Takesian is supposed to be making.

Feener said even if ordered by the judge to continue making the payments, Takesian, who now works at the deli counter at a Stop & Shop, can afford no more than $100 a month.

Takesian is a graduate of Merrimack College who had worked as an accountant for years. As a result of his conviction on felony larceny and making false entries into corporate books, accounting is a field that “is no longer available” to Takesian, his lawyer said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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