A Madison County man who pocketed money from Boy Scouts popcorn sales has received a three-year prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to theft.
Jakob Bottoms, of Cottage Hills, went with a Boy Scout to sell popcorn last year and duped customers into writing out the checks for their purchases directly to him. He told customers he planned to write the Boy Scouts one big check from his own account for everyone’s orders.
But when the customers hadn’t received the goods, they grew suspicious. Police were able to track Bottoms because he had used his own name with a few customers. At least eight reported not receiving popcorn.
Police have estimated that the scam netted Bottoms about $300. Prosecutors in December charged him with theft.
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The boy accompanying Bottoms was wearing a Boy Scout uniform, and the two had official order forms, police said. The child, who was active in the Scouts at the time, had no knowledge that a crime was being committed, according to police.
Bottoms pleaded to theft under $500, a class 4 felony, and was sentenced on June 9, according to Tayleur Blaylock, spokeswoman for the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
While the theft case was pending, Bottoms managed to pick up additional charges. He was charged in March with felony possession of drugs and misdemeanor possession of a hypodermic syringe.
Bottoms’ projected parole date is Nov. 4, 2018.
He’s been to prison before. He was sent to prison in 2011 for a four-year sentence on burglary and theft charges, and he was sent to prison in January 2014 for a two-year sentence on drug charges. He was not required to serve the full terms of those previous prison sentences.