Comptroller Charged With Embezzling $151,000

ALTOONA, PA—The former comptroller for Henderson’s Printing and subsidiaries Kunz Business Products and Times Tribune Co. was arrested Thursday and charged with embezzling at least $151,130 during an 11-year period, the Altoona Mirror reported.

Leona Gebhart, 70, was hit with 90 felony counts, including forgery, access device fraud and theft following a two-year investigation by Altoona police into financial discrepancies at Henderson’s Printing, according to the Mirror.

Gebhart is accused of embezzling money while allowing the company’s federal tax payments to become delinquent. An IRS lien on Henderson’s building and the freezing of the company’s bank accounts ultimately alerted Chairman R. Thomas Henderson to the crime in April 2011. She was fired a month later after working for the ccompany since 1964.

The Mirror reported that Gebhart stole more than $66,000 by writing unauthorized checks to herself and Thomas Henderson, and manipulating petty cash. In all, she allegedly wrote more than $60,000 in bad checks.

Gebhart is also accused of making duplicate and triplicate payroll checks out to herself totaling in excess of $13,000, and unexplained checks to vendors of more than $11,000.

She fabricated documents, filed false paperwork and used other forms to manipulate the company records to hide the alleged transgressions. Since some records were destroyed, the actual amount misappropriated could be much higher than $151,000. The tax penalties and fees are not included in the amount.

During the theft period, Henderson loaned the company $636,000 out of his own resources to keep the company in business and avoid layoffs, the paper said.

Gebhart also allegedly hid the fact that the company was being investigated by the IRS, hiding incriminating mail and lying to an IRS agent.

She was freed on a $35,000 unsecured bond and has a preliminary hearing slated for Sept. 25.