Sim files appeal in Valley View Logging theft

By Kristy Tallman

After being sentenced for pleading guilty to the theft of more than $51,000 from a Sweet Home logging firm, a Lebanon woman is now appealing her sentence.

Former Office Manager Kristen Nicole Sim, 37, at Valley View Logging, Inc. faced charges on Dec. 19, 2022 including five felony theft charges, which encompassed identity theft. These allegations arose from her unauthorized use of checks and a corporate credit card belonging to Valley View Logging, Inc.

“The investigation initiated following a report from the owners of Valley View Logging, who notified us that their employee, Kristen Sim, had been issuing checks and depositing them into an account linked to her husband’s business,” said investigating officer Sgt. Geoff Hamlin of the Sweet Home Police Department (SHPD).

“The owners provided us with copies of several checks made out to various companies with whom they had conducted business,” he stated. “These companies reached out to the owners, indicating they hadn’t received payment. Upon further examination of their records, the owners discovered that these businesses had indeed been paid using the aforementioned checks.”

Upon scrutinizing the checks, Sgt. Hamlin observed that each bore endorsements indicating they were deposited into the same account number.

“I confirmed that the account belonged to the business owned by the Sims,” he said.

Additionally, unauthorized purchases were discovered on a company credit card issued to Sim, which were unrelated to legitimate business expenses.

“As of now, we are not aware of any other victims, and there are no ongoing investigations involving her,” Sgt. Hamlin said.

On July 7, 2023, Sim pleaded guilty as a plea agreement to aggravated first-degree theft and two counts of first-degree theft. Sim was sentenced on Jan. 26 to 26 months of jail time. Court documents revealed the dismissal of one aggravated first-degree theft charge and identity theft.

Additionally, Sim was instructed to reimburse Valley View Logging with $51,137.06 in restitution.

On Feb. 27, attorneys for Sim filed a motion of appeal with the Linn County District Attorney, stating the trial court erred in denying the defendant eligibility for alternative incarceration programs.

According to court documents, if a defendant pleads guilty or no contest the defendant may appeal the conviction only if they are able to show the sentence imposed is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual or that it exceeds the maximum sentence allowed by law. Should Sim lose her appeal, previous dropped charges could be reinstated.