(Source: Linda Wilson Fuoco Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (MCT) — Former Crafton manager Richard J. Crown is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13 on six charges of stealing $143,748 from the Crafton Volunteer Fire Department during the time he served as treasurer.
Mr. Crown, 45, entered guilty pleas last month to four counts of forgery, one count of theft by unlawful taking and one count of receiving stolen property.
The charges go back to an investigation that started in July 2011 when Michael Crown, then the president of the volunteer fire department, told Crafton police Chief Mark Sumpter that his brother had been depositing checks and making electronic debits from the fire department into his own personal bank account.
Michael Crown, who is now Crafton’s fire chief, hasn’t been implicated in the thefts. Mr. Crown was using his brother’s signature stamper on the checks he forged, according to court papers and police criminal complaints signed by Allegheny County Police Detective Corinne Orchowski.
Mr. Crown had been the fire department treasurer since January 2005, according to Detective Orchowski’s criminal complaint papers.
Crafton VFD President David Morgan said, “Richard Crown came to his house and confessed that he stole money from the Crafton VFD account in order to pay back money that he had stolen from Jackson township” in Butler County in July 2011, according to Detective Orchowski.
Mr. Crown had been township manager in Jackson from April 2005-11, when he resigned. He also served as Crafton’s manager from 1988-2001.
“Crown told Morgan that he stole money from Jackson township because he had a lot of financial problems, which included two mortgages,” the criminal complaint states. “Crown stated that he would pay the money back and asked Morgan not to pursue criminal charges.”
Checks listed in court documents include payments Mr. Crown made to credit card companies, banks, utilities, cash and to R. J. Crown and Richard Crown. Check number 2056 was “written out to Jackson township for $25,462.30 with a memo of ‘payment in full,’ ” Detective Orchowski said in the criminal complaint.
He avoided criminal charges by repaying the missing funds.
Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said state police had been contacted to investigate Mr. Crown’s actions last year, but stopped when the deal was reached and Mr. Crown repaid the money in a single check for $25,000.
“The investigation is over. The short of it is, we’re not going to file any criminal charges,” Mr. Goldinger said.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: email@example.com or 412-722-0087.
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