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Marine father and son receive probation in theft of $40k Toys for Tots donations

Rusty and Josh Gaines
James “Rusty” Gaines and son, Josh Gaines, pled guilty to stealing over $40,000 from the Toys for Tots organization.

A Marine and his son pled guilty to theft and credit fraud charges in court. They were sentenced to probation Friday in Franklin Circuit Court.

Kentucky defense attorney Andrew Bowker who represented the Gaines told the judge that “James “Rusty” Gaines, has admitted “it was a mistake” and has taken full responsibility for his actions,” according to the State Journal.

“He’s owned up to it, and has paid over $14,000 in restitution in this case,” Bowker said.

It has yet to be determined how much restitution needs to be repaid. The judge has given prosecutors 60 days to submit a final restitution order.


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Rusty Gaines oversaw the organization’s funds as the detachment’s treasurer for two years, 2012-2014.

Many of his colleagues at the Marine Corps League were shocked to learn that Rusty was capable of committing such a horrific crime.

“When I found out about it, I couldn’t believe it,” said Zeddie Harmon, a Marine Corps League member.

“I know James (Rusty) and we were supposed to be good friends, but after this, I couldn’t believe that he would have done something like this.”

Bowker reported to the judge that “Gaines is assessed as low-risk for becoming a repeat-offender and has had no new problems in the past two years while on pretrial release pending the outcome of this case…. and also has a number of health issues,” as reported in the Journal.

Gaines, 52, was sentenced to four years probation with the condition that restitution for the monies stolen has been repaid. He must also submit to a mental health evaluation, and pay court fines.

Gaines son, Joshua W. Gaines, 32, will be subject to random drug screenings for the next year. He received one year of parole on the condition that restitution has been repaid.

This is not the first time people have been accused of stealing from Toys for Tots. Last April, Susan Dixon and Jimmy Baldwin made court appearances for theft of toys in the Chicago area.

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