STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- There won’t be another trial for a Portage County man accused of helping his wife and brother-in-law defraud the Social Security system. 72-year-old Ronald Disher of Almond was in court Monday, and entered into a plea deal, pleading no contest to one charge of being a party to the crime of felony theft by fraud. The other charges including battery by an inmate will be dismissed and read in at the time of sentencing.
Disher was recently found guilty of recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct, but the jury could not agree on the three charges of being party to the crime of Social Security fraud, so a mistrial was declared.
During the discussion with Judge Thomas Flugaur, defense attorney Gary Kryshak told the court he discussed evidence from the trial with his client, and recommended Disher accept the plea deal. “I also discussed with him some additional evidence that I found, as to plus or minus of it, and I thought it was in his best interest when I told him he had an absolute right to have a trial, but he indicated he wished to go for the plea.”
Prosecutor Veronica Isherwood isn’t aware of any new evidence that would make Kryshak advise his client differently than before. “I’m not sure what he was talking about, as a piece of evidence, but I’m guessing he reviewed the evidence he already had and found something he wasn’t aware of. I’m not sure what he was talking about. I have the same evidence that I had going to trial.” Isherwood says this is the same plea deal they offered Disher’s defense a year and a half ago. She’s glad to have another part of this case concluded.
Sentencing for Ronald Disher is set for April 15th at 1:30.
It is unclear if Ronald’s wife Dolores Disher will ever be physically well enough to stand trial. She suffered a series of strokes and is in a nursing home.
Marie Jost hasn’t been seen since the early 1980s Prosecutors say around $170,000 worth of her Social Security checks were illegally cashed by Ronald and Dolores Disher, and Charles Jost..
Jost was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Delores Disher suffered a stroke in jail. Prosecutors don’t know if she will ever be physically able to appear in court.