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Tax collector enters guilty plea to federal theft charges

According to sources, a Pennsylvania tax collector pleaded guilty to federal theft charges for reportedly stealing in excess of $300,000 in taxpayer funds. The 46-year-old woman served as the tax collector for Spring Garden Township from 1995 until Oct. 2009, with the alleged thefts occurring during 2008 and 2009.

Authorities said the tax checks were made in the woman's name, and instead of depositing them into the township's account, she instead deposited them into her own bank account. A bank officer apparently noticed a problem and alerted investigators. Federal investigators and the Pennsylvania State Police then initiated an investigation.

York County was able to submit an insurance claim and receive payment for the entire amount. The woman has agreed to pay restitution in full to the insurance company that paid the county's claim. Prosecutors said they delayed filing charges in order to give the woman time to pay back a portion of what she owed. There is no word on how much the woman has repaid to date or if she will face a prison sentence.

People who are facing federal theft charges may want to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney who practices in federal court. If a person is convicted of a federal felony offense, they face the possibility of a long prison sentence. In some instances, an attorney might be able to help negotiate restitution in lieu of a sentence to prison. In other cases, an attorney might review the evidence held in the case in order to identify defenses to the charges. They might be able to assert defenses to the allegations and fight the case through to its conclusion at trial.

Source: WGAL, "Tax collector pleads guilty to stealing $300,000 in taxpayer money," Jim Sinkovitz, Feb. 25, 2015.

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