Walmart employees appeared in Mercer County Court

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

On Thursday, Feb. 20 the Aledo Police Department was notified by the Asset Protection Manager of Wal-Mart (Pekin) that they had conducted an internal investigation over the past several months at the Aledo Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart investigation led to criminal charges being filed against the following subjects: Tara J. Speck (56) of Monmouth, Robert A. Osborn (45) of Rock Island, Paul D. DeWilde (76) of Silvis, and Laura E. Diehl (52) of Aledo.

All four subjects were arrested in the Aledo Wal-Mart Pharmacy and each charged on three counts, Ct. I-Forgery, a Class 3 felony in that the defendants made medical prescriptions, purported to have been made by a doctor. Ct. II-Unlawful Possession of A Controlled Substance, a Class 4 felony, in that defendants possessed less than 15 grams of a controlled substance, except Laura Diehl who was not charged with unlawful possession, but charged with Ct. II-Unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to Robert Osborn. All were also charged with Ct. III-Insurance Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor, in that the defendants caused to be obtained by deception, control over the property by causing a false claim, that of a forged or modified prescription to Walmart Self Insurance Plan intending to deprive Walmart of property in the amount less than $300.

They were held overnight at the Mercer County Jail and appeared in one a time in court, handcuffed and in stripes where the honorable Judge Gregory Chickris read the charges against them. Chickris was told that Tara Speck was remorseful and believes she has a problem. He was informed that Laura Diehl had worked at Walmart for 26 years, and that all four worked together in the pharmacy.

Judge Chickris ordered each defendant is to have no contact with the other three, and none of them are allowed on the premises of Walmart in Aledo. Bond was set at $30,000, 10% to apply for DeWilde and Osborn, both Pharmacists, and $10,000 (10%) for Diehl and Speck, pharmacy technicians. Each posted bond and was released. They are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in court March 18.

This is an on-going investigation. All defendants were informed they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.