A former office manager at Keystone Scale Inc., on Liberty Drive, was arrested Monday afternoon on felony theft charges for allegedly stealing $47,000 from the company during a two-year period, according to state Trooper Angela Bieber.
However, the Loyalsock Township business will incur a much larger total loss, believed to be about $315,000, as a result of penalties imposed by the government because of the office manager's failure to file taxes during the same period, Bieber said in court papers.
Maria M. Ickes, 45, of 280 Main St., Trout Run, turned herself in about 2 p.m. at the office of District Judge James H. Sortman to face charges of theft by deception, theft, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition.
The theft is alleged to have occurred between mid-August 2011 and last October, Bieber said,
Company owner Michael Dailey fired Ickes after "she missed numerous days of work without explanation," Bieber said in an affidavit. The date of the manager's termination was not listed.
Dailey was contacted by as collection officer "in reference to unpaid taxes" that the company owned, Bieber said.
"After Ickes was terminated, her work area was cleaned up. At that time, several items of mail were found hidden in her file drawers," Bieber said.
The mail included letters explaining back taxes owed by the company, Bieber said.
Also in the file drawers were numerous company checks that Ickes allegedly issued herself, Bieber said, adding that the checks totaled $35,156.
Investigators allege Ickes took steps to delete the checks and their amounts from the company's payroll computer software.
Bieber said her investigation also revealed that Ickes allegedly increased her own paycheck "on numerous instances," apparently without the knowledge of her supervisor. Ickes allegedly overpaid herself nearly $12,000, Bieber said, adding that she did not know what Ickes did with the money nor was the investigator optimistic in the company ever recovering the funds.
"Total loss to the company in authorized payments to Ickes plus penalties imposed because of her failure to disperse appropriate funds (taxes) is $315,183," Bieber said.
Following her arraignment before Sortman, Ickes was released on $100,000 bail.