When public officials or other prominent figures are accused of corruption or some other white collar crime, the allegations can sometimes split whole communities. That was the case in Moosic, where a former councilman and volunteer firefighter was accused of stealing nearly $400,000 in fire department funds.
Police arrested the man in April, and since then he has admitted to taking the money to support a gambling addiction. He also owns a business in Moosic, and at his recent sentencing hearing, he expressed his wish to keep the company so he could pay the ordered restitution. In addition to that payment, he was sentenced to a minimum of 11 months in jail.
On top of the jail sentence and the restitution, he will also have to complete 1,000 hours of community service with the fire department. His attorney indicated that $100,000 of the stolen funds had already been paid back.
Despite the man's guilty plea, many of his fellow firefighters offered messages of support prior to the sentencing. The fire department has declined to comment publicly about the theft allegations.
These types of crimes are essentially nonviolent, but they are aggressively prosecuted in Pennsylvania. Individuals facing theft or embezzlement allegations will need an effective defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome. The prosecution will tell its side of the story, and every defendant has a right to tell his or hers. The circumstances that lead to allegations of white collar crime are often extremely complex, and speaking with an attorney with experience in white collar crime defense should help clarify the available legal options.
Source: wnep.com, "Prison Sentence In Theft Case For Former Hose Company Head," Stacy Lange, Nov. 26, 2013