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20 Arrested in $1.5M Bensalem Conspiracy Probe

The former Bensalem School District business administrator is arrested in connection with a massive conspiracy investigation involving thefts from the district.

A year-long corruption investigation culminated in the arrest of 20 people associated with the theft of more than $1.5 million from the Bensalem School District, police announced Tuesday morning.

Bensalem investigators made the arrests after they launched two separate investigations into alleged misdoings involving district staff. One investigation focused on “ghost employees,” the other on theft and illegal distribution of vehicles and related parts, township Public Safety Director Fred Harran said.

District Attorney David Heckler and Harran both said the investigation is not finished and more arrests are possible.

Jack Myers, the retired Bensalem School District business manager, was among those arrested in the corruption probe. He is charged with misapplication of entrusted property. Law enforcement said the 63-year-old Philadelphia resident knew of the many thefts occurring in the district and even participated in some of the activity.

The district’s current facilities manager, Robert Moseley, 61, of Bensalem was arrested and charged with misapplication of entrusted property for his part in the ghost employee investigation. In that case, police said multiple ground crew workers were getting paid for shifts they did not work. One employee did not report for work for up to three years, police said.

Head mechanic Fred Lange, 68, of Croydon was charged in August after it was uncovered he led the theft scheme being operated out of the bus garage, police said. Authorities called Lange the operations mastermind.

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District mechanics Martin Chappell and Patrick Hammond were also arrested along with Lange.

Detectives told Patch that Chappell’s home garage was found to have a large surplus of vehicle parts suspected of being purchased with taxpayer money. One box of headlights was even addressed to the school district.

Hammond is suspected to have played a smaller role in the thefts. A search of his personal garage uncovered several small items believed to have been purchased using district funds.

One aspect of the crime involved ordering equipment through the district’s discounted consortium rates and then selling them out the figurative back door for less, keeping all the profits. Between nearly 7,000 bus tires and close to 2,200 batteries, the thieves are said to have swindled the district of over $1 million, police said. More money is alleged to have been spent on windshield wipers, oil filters and engine fluids, Harran explained during a late morning press conference.

Another angle involved Myers and Lange turning over the titles of 30 district buses, vans and pick-up trucks to Joel Zober, who owns a junkyard in Pipersville, police said. The vehicles were given to the junkyard and a group of classic car enthusiasts were able to pick other vehicles at the junkyard for free. Police called the group “The Breakfast Club,” due to their regular breakfast trips.

“All their people, their friends got to go to that junkyard and get parts free of charge,” Harran said. “There was a definite monetary value back.”

Harran called the group “very organized.”

Joseph Bound, owner of Bound Beverages on Bristol Pike in Bensalem, told police he bought items to maintain his vehicle fleet from Lange for the past 10 years. He said he paid cash for tires, synthetic transmission oil and transmission filters order by the school district, according to an affidavit.

“When gone unchecked for years, [the suspects] continued to do it. Those days are over,” Harran told reporters.

All of the suspects arrested on Wednesday were lead from the police station to District Justice Leonard Brown's courthouse where they were arraigned.

Below is a list of the people arrested by authorities on Wednesday:

Current and Former District Employees

  • Former 28-year district business manager Jack Myers, 63, Hendrix Street, Philadelphia: misapplication of entrusted property
  • Facilities manager Robert Moseley, 61, Byberry Road, Bensalem: misapplication of entrusted property.
  • District bus mechanic Patrick Hammon, 53, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and receiving stolen property
  • Mechanic  Roland “Tex” Angle, 72, of Mildred Avenue, Bensalem: conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property

“Ghost Employees”

  • Former Groundskeeper Supervisor Joseph Dyer, 43, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy
  • Former Groundskeeper Shannon Dyer, 39, of West Bensalem Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy
  • Groundskeeper Anthony Ruggiero, 38, of Ogden Avenue, Bensalem: theft and criminal conspiracy

Stolen Property Receivers and Distributors

  • William “Gill” Slowe, 73, of Crescent Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Alfred Venturino, 59, of Fourth Avenue, Croydon: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Robert Lord Sr., 64, of Dunksferry Road, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Bound Beverages owner Joseph Bound, 65, of Ford Avenue, Middletown: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Smith’s Auto Repair owner Elwyn Smith, 56, of Ritter Avenue, Bristol: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Classic car club member William Klosz, 63, of Hawthorne Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Classic car club member Leo Cannon, 65, of Hampton Court, Newtown: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Classic car club member  Wiliam O’Hara, 56, of Ash Avenue, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Classic car club member  Ronald Stoud, 69, of Cliff Road, Bensalem: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Upper Bucks County junkyard owner Joel Zober, 70, of Magnolia Drive, Croydon: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
  • Tow truck operator Wilson Lopez, 29, of Lincoln Avenue, Bristol: criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property
Harry Smith February 18, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Bobby, Thanks for info. Interesting the police did not mention that in the report. I knew him in high school.
Harry Smith February 18, 2013 at 06:43 PM
People, Is the whole Bensalem School System corrupt?
Jason February 19, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I think the whole township needs to be investigated. Way too many inside connections needed to get involved and the reason is bc they dont want people to find out what is going on in the inside. Did anyone ever think how much money the casino prob gave the township for the prime location on street rd? and what about the distracting TVs? They can cause accidents but nothing is being done bc someone is getting paid on the inside. oh and the township is giving back $200 to homeowners for tax returns? it should be way more then that. and now we know that our tax payers money have been abused we should all be reimbursed a bit more. these scums got aways with 1.5 million of our money. isn't it fair that we get some of it back? Who is with me on getting the FOX or ABC news out here to handle this and expose everything and everyone.
Pat Pomo February 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Where are the honest people in our township? All I see are people who are so greedy that they care only for themselves. It's whatever they can get away with and put in their pockets. I have lived in this township for over 40 years and have seen too many changes I did not care for. I'm a senior citizen who sees her taxes go up every year by the school board. I don't mind paying my share, but it is getting out of hand. I wasn't blessed with children and yet I'm paying way too much for our schools. Also, why do we only get one or two hundred dollars back from the casino when they are doing "so well''? Stop giving it away to other townships and help the seniors. God knows we need it. Patti
Bob Mervine February 28, 2013 at 04:46 PM
I'm a life long Bensalem resident with a clearance from the Department of Defense. I've been unemployed for almost a year and my benefits (for working 30 years straight) ran out 2 months ago. My last job closed down because of the economy, I was never fired and always an exemplary employee. I have applied for NUMEROUS township jobs in person, no less than 20 in this last year, and I never get called in for an interview. You want to know where the honest people are? The township doesn't want to hire them.

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