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Published: Friday, 7/1/2005

Court upholds ruling that widow must repay more than $2 million to banks

The Sixth District Court of Appeals in Toledo yesterday upheld a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judgment for more than $2 million against Sue Anne Dolin, the widow of Shale Dolin, a local pharmacist who killed himself in 2000 after kiting checks between two banks for months.

The appeals court reduced the judgment by $456,000, to take into account proceeds from the three defunct Shale's pharmacies in Toledo and Perrysburg and distributions from U.S. Bankruptcy Court after Mr. Dolin's death.

Reginald Jackson, attorney for KeyBank, said yesterday that the bank is due $2.4 million even after the reductions and that he is going after several assets he believes are owned by Mrs. Dolin, who now lives in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"I'm delighted with the result," said Mr. Jackson. "It has been a long road."

Mrs. Dolin's attorney, Thomas Heintschel, could not be reached for comment.

Beginning in late 2000, KeyBank and the former Mid Am Bank, now known as Sky Bank, sued Mrs. Dolin separately, claiming that the bad checks written by her husband totaled $2 million and that she had signed guarantees for his accounts. Mid Am also sued KeyBank in federal court for more than $1 million, claiming Key had failed to clear some of the checks in a timely manner.

The Common Pleas suits against Mrs. Dolin were later consolidated, and a settlement between the banks left KeyBank as the recipient of any proceeds.

Mrs. Dolin argued that the banks should have detected the fraud sooner, that she was unaware of her late husband's crime, and that the loan guarantees totaled just $235,000.

In September, 2003, visiting Judge Stephen Yarbrough ruled in favor of KeyBank for about $2.6 million, including interest.

The case took another turn late last year, when Mrs. Dolin left Ohio and told her attorney that she had sent an unspecified amount of money to Costa Rica, where it was misappropriated by a man who committed suicide.

Mr. Jackson said yesterday that Mrs. Dolin paid $550,000 for a home in Daytona Beach and is selling her home in Sylvania. He said he is pursuing those assets as well as assets in Mr. Dolin's estate, expected to be distributed by Lucas County Probate Court soon.

He added that he believes Mrs. Dolin has business interests in the Caribbean and funds in an account in Costa Rica.

"We're subpoenaing records," he said. "We're still collecting information."

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