The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 16, 2010

Mrs. Wolfe: 'We were living like the Rockefellers.'

MIDDLEBURG — Charged with six felonies and two misdemeanors today, former Northumberland Borough Council President Bryan Wolfe said he was only thinking of his family when he used his former employer’s account to buy approximately $180,000 in software and hardware, which he later sold for profit.

But according to his wife, Jennifer L. Wolfe, the money was used for a more lavish lifestyle, and told police, “We were living like the Rockefellers.”

Bryan Wolfe was solely in charge of all the financing and paid the bills during their marriage, she said. She also recently discovered that he had taken out credit cards in her name and maxed them out without her knowledge, and they had gone on several cruises together and had a bar bill of more than $3,000. They also took trips to New York City and went to shows, and he always had the latest technological gadgets.

When she asked how all of it was being paid, he responded only that it was being taken care of, she told police.

Wolfe, 39, was released on $50,000 unsecured bail after his arraignment Wednesday morning at District Judge Willis Savidge’s office in Middleburg, for his alleged thefts from Northway Industries, Middleburg, where he had been employed as a computer/web developer until his firing in September 2007.

He faces up to 52 years in prison and more than $100,000 in fines if convicted.

According to Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch, each felony charge comes with a maximum seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine, and each misdemeanor five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If convicted and sentenced, however, it is likely Wolfe would get a punishment considerably less than that, Piecuch said, based on a offense gravity score and prior criminal history.

Wolfe is facing three counts of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, unlawful use of computer and other computer crimes, and computer theft.

A criminal complaint states that Wolfe used Northway Industries accounts to purchase hardware and software, totaling approximately $176,500, and then sold it as his own to make a profit, between Jan. 10, 2005 and Aug. 2, 2007.

He also allegedly took an IMAC computer, worth more than $1,600, upon his termination. Wolfe told police he sold the computer on eBay, an Internet auction site, for $1,300.

A forensic accountant later found that Northway accounts showed a pattern of increased losses while Wolfe was employed there.

Don O’Hora, president of Northway Industries, did not return a call for comment on Wednesday.

Wolfe was jailed Tuesday in Sunbury on four separate felony-theft charges involving $18,722 allegedly swindled from Northumberland Borough. He was held at Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $40,000 cash bond set by District Judge Robert Bolton.

Wolfe is not facing any special charges for committing theft through an elected office. A spokesman at the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday that the charges are at the discretion of the district attorney’s office.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. June 23 in Middleburg.

 

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