by Ivan Foley
Updated court appearance dates are now scheduled for three former Ferrellgas company employees who are charged in a theft scheme from the company.
The scheme allegedly involved about $250,000 worth of propane.
Two of the three--Robert E. Hensley and Steven L. Manville--are charged with felonies. The third, Robert Schultz, faces a misdemeanor charge.
All three have pled not guilty in their separate cases proceeding through Platte County Circuit Court. All three received continuances in their most recent court appearances and updated court dates are now known.
Hensley, 56, of St. Joseph is the supervisor who has been charged with a felony count of receiving stolen property. He is also charged with a misdemeanor for failure to pay/file a Missouri income tax return. Manville, 48, of Camden Point, who worked under Hensley, faces a felony charge of receiving stolen property.
Schultz is charged with a misdemeanor count of stealing.
Hensley’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 28 in front of Judge James VanAmburg. Attorney D. Bryant King of Kansas City in Platte County is representing Hensley.
Manville’s next court date is set for Tuesday, Sept. 19 in the courtroom of Judge Ann Hansbrough. Manville’s attorney is Shane Bartee of Weston.
Schultz, of Platte City, has an appearance scheduled for Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m. in front of Judge Dennis Eckold. Schultz’s attorney is Eric Vernon of Liberty.
Court documents allege Hensley was fired by Ferrellgas after revealing to a colleague that he had made propane deliveries to customers and pocketed the money.
All three suspects were fired on Oct. 7. On that day, Hensley allegedly told a colleague the thefts had been going on for years and that he had bypassed the meters on the propane delivery trucks. He estimated the loss may be $250,000 worth of propane.
Manville told authorities he was asked by Hensley to make about 15 deliveries of propane totaling about 2,000 gallons. Manville stated that Hensley, his supervisor, offered him time off with pay for making those deliveries, according to court documents.
Schultz told authorities that between 2014 to 2016 he was asked by Hensley to make approximately 10 to 12 deliveries of propane per year totaling about 2,500 to 3,500 gallons per year. Schultz told investigators that Hensley offered him paid time off and 50 cents per gallon for making those deliveries.