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9/3/2015 - Ex-bookkeeper arrested for more than half-million theft

 

Media, Pa – Today Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced the arrest of an Essington man for stealing more than $690,000 from his employer of 13 years. 

Jeffrey McElwee, 53, of the 500 block of Corinthian Avenue in Essington, is facing multiple theft charges including theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and theft by deception and false impersonation, all felonies of the first degree, forgery authorized in writing, a felony of the second degree, and access to devices issued to another who did not authorize use, a felony of the third degree.   

McElwee was remanded to the Delaware County Prison after he failed to post $10,000 bail.

The arrest comes at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by County Detective John A. Hoffner of the District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit which began on Feb. 25, when John Jenzano, the owner of Power Source Repair in Collingdale, and the company accountant, Jeffrey Mitchell, contacted authorities regarding theft of company funds by Jeffrey McElwee, the company bookkeeper.

It was discovered by the employer that McElwee had been stealing funds from Jenzano’s line of credit account through ATM transactions made between May 2011 and January 2015. It had also been determined that McElwee made numerous unauthorized ATM withdrawals during that four-year period.

As a result of this information, an investigation was launched and a search warrant for McElwee’s TD Bank and Santander accounts was obtained. It was found that McElwee had been issuing unauthorized checks to himself since 2002, the year he started Power Source Repair. Over the 13 years McElwee was employed at the company, he issued 399 checks to himself totaling $574,447.19, none of which were authorized by the company or the company owner.

Bank statements from the company owner’s Wells Fargo, line of credit account, showed that between May 2011 and January 2015, McElwee made 257 unauthorized ATM withdrawals totaling $122,184.50, with close to half of the withdrawals made at the same PNC Bank ATM machine at a Wawa located at 600 S. Governor Printz Blvd. located in Essington where McElwee resides. In total, McElwee is charged with $696,631.69 in theft from Power Source Repair.


Jeffrey McElwee was arrested by authorities at his apartment on Aug. 27, and arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Gregory J. Loftus who set bail at ten percent of $100,000. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.

“From the very start of his employment, the defendant knowingly and fraudulently stole from his employer, depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into his personal accounts. He took advantage of his employer’s trust, and he will be held accountable for his actions,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “Our Economic Crime Unit is dedicated to guarding local businesses against fraud and thoroughly investigating all matters of theft. I want to commend Detective John A. Hoffner for his exemplary work on this complicated case which took a great amount of time and effort, and also commend CID Forensic Accounting Co-Op Anastasia Schweiger for her outstanding work.”

The Delaware County District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division investigates Financial Crimes including Corporate Embezzlement, Identity Theft, Forgery, Bank Fraud, Contractor Fraud, Internet Fraud and Insurance Fraud. For more information on the Economic Crime Unit, please visit www.delcoda.com.