Towanda woman charged with theft of over $250,000 from employer
Theresa L. Fritchman, 50, of Towanda RR4 faces charges of forgery, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received stemming from an investigation into incidents alleged to have occurred from January of 2004 and October of 2009, according to court documents filed at Magisterial District Judge Timothy Clark's office.
Fritchman is accused of using proceeds from the company she worked at, EM Medical Inc. of Monroeton, for her own personal use, according to a press release from the state police at Towanda.
According to court documents:
The investigation was initiated when Robert Mehalchick, who police named as the owner of EM Medical, reported to state police at Towanda that during October 2009 he discovered the bank account for his company had not been making regular payments to the IRS as arranged. Mehalchick then reviewed copies of the company's bank statements and observed approximately $82,120 in unauthorized payments from July 2008 through October 2009. Most of these payments were checks written to various credit card companies, insurance companies and utility companies.
Mehalchick stated to police that the only person who writes any checks for the company is Fritchman, who he employs as the company's bookkeeper. Mehalchick stated to police that he had confronted Fritchman and she had admitted to making the unauthorized transactions as she was helping some family members get through a tough time. Fritchman allegedly stated she would pay back the money but failed to do so.
Upon further police investigation into the company's bank statements from 2003 through 2010, police determined that the illegal activity began in January of 2004 and allegedly continued until Fritchman was confronted by Mehalchick in October of 2009. After reviewing all of the statements during this time period, police concluded that the total amount of unauthorized transaction was at least $256,824.
Fritchman, in an interview with police, allegedly admitted to making the unauthorized payments from the account of EM Medical to pay for her personal credit card accounts, insurance policies and utilities. Fritchman allegedly reported to police that although all of the accounts were in her name, she was using the credit/proceeds to help family members who were having financial difficulties.
Fritchman was released on $25,000 unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for her to answer the charges 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 27.
Phone calls to numbers listed for Mehalchick and Fritchman were not immediately returned.