The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

June 10, 2014

Former notary’s theft case postponed

DANVILLE — A former Danville notary charged with stealing more than $31,000 from hundreds of victims appeared Monday in Montour County Court.

While Natalie Wetzel, 45, of Danville, was listed to enter a plea, her attorney Leslie Bryden asked that her case be postponed.

When asked if the case may go to trial, Bryden said she wasn’t sure.

Two state troopers were among four victims asked to appear for Wetzel’s preliminary hearing earlier on charges she stole from 179 victims.

Wetzel remains free on $50,000 unsecured bail.

The victims included Troopers Jim Nizinski and Anthony Bickhart, both from the Milton barracks. They went to Wetzel’s Danville notary office for an ATV transfer and a truck sale tax transfer.

Other victims appearing at the preliminary hearing were Kevin Kraiza, of Danville, who went to Wetzel for an out-of-state car title transfer and Larry Hans, of Milton, for the transfer of a fifth-wheel camper from his dad to him.

Also listed as victims were the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PennDOT and the state Department of Revenue for worthless checks received from Wetzel and the bond company making a claim against Wetzel’s license.

State police said the incidents occurred from February 2012 through February 2013.

Wetzel operated Wetzel Notary Service at 432 Mill St. with the victims including 15 people age 60 and older, police said.

In most cases, Wetzel allegedly kept the money and fees she collected for her own personal use.

She allegedly stole $9,479 in December of 2012, $6,093 in January of 2013, $8,058 in February of 2013 and an additional $3,343.

Police said she committed theft by deception involving $1,414 in June of 2012, $1,438 in August of 2012, $478 in September of 2012 and an additional $752.

Victims paid for transactions which included vehicle sales tax, vehicle title transfers, registrations, transfers and renewals, boat sales tax, boat title transfers, boat trailer title transfers, boat trailer registration transfers and renewals, trailer registration and renewals, all-terrain vehicle sales tax, ATV title transfers and registrations, snowmobile sales tax, title transfers and registrations, driver’s license renewals and birth certificate applications.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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