Pubdate: Thu, 01 Mar 2018
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2018 The Columbus Dispatch
Author: John Futty


A Whitehall man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison and
ordered to pay nearly $25,000 in restitution for a series of crimes
related to his proposal to create a residential treatment center for
recovering alcoholics and drug addicts on the Near East Side of Columbus.

Johnny R. Marcum, 47, of Pierce Avenue, pleaded guilty last month to
three counts of identity fraud, four counts of passing bad checks, one
count of forgery, two counts of theft and one count of tampering with

Although nearly all of the crimes are fourth-or fifth-degree
felonies, which typically lead to probation, Franklin County Common
Pleas Judge Guy Reece said Marcum's lengthy history of such crimes and
his decision to prey upon those who came to him for help demanded a
prison sentence.

Marcum was the director for Central Ohio Sober Living, which was
supposed to open in the former Livingston Theater, 1567 E. Livingston
Ave., in November 2015, but never did. Some people who lived in the
area opposed the project, saying the neighborhood already had enough
recovery centers.

Marcum used personal financial information from two of the group's
clients to transfer money into his account and open a checking account
and get a credit card. He then spent $4,000 on fitness equipment,
$4,000 on a copier and $700 at a mattress company, among other
purchases, investigators said. He also bounced checks to

The judge ordered restitution be paid to a list of individuals and

Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Lenert argued for "a substantial prison
sentence," saying that Marcum had pleaded guilty to economic crimes in
nine previous felony cases and been to prison three times.

"Every time he's been on probation, he's been revoked and sent to
prison," Lenert said.

Marcum, who was represented by defense attorney Steven Larson, read a
lengthy statement in court, blaming his actions on drug and alcohol
addictions and "a criminal addiction."

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