KENNETT TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The former manager of Kennett Township is accused of embezzling more than $3 million from the township over seven years. Lisa Moore was in Chester County court on Tuesday morning on theft, forgery, computer crimes and other related charges.
BREAKING: Lisa Moore, a fmr. Kennett Twp. manager, is charged in what prosecutors say was a singlehanded $3.2 million theft scheme. A judge allowed her to walk free on an unsecured $500,000 bond. She’ll also be permitted to take a trip to Puerto Rico. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/XAECthwcQL
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) December 10, 2019
Moore, who worked for the township for 20 years and the past nine as manager, was fired earlier this year when fraudulent activity was discovered.
Prosecutors allege the 46-year-old Moore started her theft scheme in 2013. Moore allegedly drew up false time sheets, claiming in one year, she worked every single day for 10 hours.
Court records show Moore took an additional $400,000 on top of her already $130,000 taxpayer-funded salary. Prosecutors claim she had a rubber stamp with the chairman of the township’s signature, which was used to sign the checks.
Prosecutors say she stole money intended for employee benefits, police department, land preservation and other township operations, and used it on extravagant personal expenses, including Gucci and Chanel clothes, jewelry, and trips to Italy and France. Officials add that part of her scheme even involved pretending to be married.
In total, Moore is accused of embezzling $3.2 million.
On a trip to France in 2018, a fraud alert was issued by a bank for suspicious activity. A township audit was launched, Moore was fired and a criminal investigation began.
“This case is a reminder that a determined insider can always find a way to steal, using their knowledge of internal procedures and policies,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “Because of their inside information, these white collar criminals are more difficult to stop than burglars or armed robbers.”
Moore ignored a whole list of questions about the allegations. Members of the crew surrounding her swung their purses at photographers and kicked water on reporters.
Kennett Township leaders are left to face the music of an angered public.
“We’ve all gone through our anger periods, try not to be angry now, that’s not appropriate, and the anger is always there. But as I said at the very beginning, there is a deep and abiding sadness to what she has done to the township and what she’s done to herself, because she was a very important person to this community,” Kennett Township Board of Directors Chairman Scudder Stevens said.
Moore was released on $500,000 unsecured bond. She is apparently planning to travel to Puerto Rico.
Hogan believes the judge should have at least placed Moore on house arrest.
“She should be at home thinking of ways that she is going to pay back this money, not going to Puerto Rico and having a good time,” Hogan said.
If convicted, she faces four to fives years in prison.