Shenango Township treasurer accused of stealing $750,000

Brian Tanner accused of theft in office in Shenango Township

SHENANGO TWP., Pa. (WYTV) – Former Shenango Township Treasurer Brian Tanner of New Castle is facing more than 500 counts of forgery and theft-related crimes.

Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa announced the findings of its own investigation, in which they believe Tanner, 49, illegally paid out roughly $750,000 from Shenango Township. The investigation has been ongoing for the past six months and was prompted by an audit by the state of Pennsylvania.

Lamancusa said they used bank records to track hundreds of checks written by Tanner over a period of more than six years. Tanner also is accused of using Shenango Township’s credit card without consent.

“He overpaid himself around $450,000. There was another $100,000 that was placed into a retirement account for himself. And then there was another $250,000 that was paid to an accountant that was performing services for Shenango Township,” Lamancusa said.

Lamancusa said Tanner used the money for personal use, for things such as pool cleaning robots, sporting event tickets, concert tickets, airline tickets and hotel rooms.

“The final tell-tale sign was all of the checks that were written by Mr. Tanner, none of them were presented to the Board of Supervisors for a vote, so the supervisors in Shenango Township actually had no idea this money was being spent and these checks were being written by their own employee,” Lamancusa said.

Shenango Township can file an insurance claim to recoup up to $400,000, but that will still leave them short about $350,000. However, Lamancusa said Tanner has a 401(k) fund that could be used to cover losses.

Tanner had worked for the township for over 10 years and was fired in July.

Tanner is facing charges of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, criminal conspiracy, corrupt organization, 243 counts of forgery, 91 counts of felony theft, 11 counts of access device fraud and 153 counts of misdemeanor theft, covering checks of $2,000 or less.

Lamancusa said other charges in this case are expected to be filed soon.

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