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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 14, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Greed makes people do stupid things. Make those convicted repay every dime back plus all related cost.
tara santos February 14, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Its just so wrong what they did
Michael Carcel February 14, 2013 at 08:44 AM
From my own experiences with the school board, the School Board is an entity to itself, makes its own rules, imposes its own taxes, does what it wants and cannot be questioned, what is wrong with this picture? Now is a good time to look at the whole organization and insert some accountability and ethics back into it.
Earle Leo Nelson Jr. February 14, 2013 at 09:14 AM
I wonder how many batteries and tires you can put on a bus in a year without being questioned?
Frank Marsh February 14, 2013 at 01:45 PM
For 28 years Operations Manager, Jack Myers did not reside in Bensalem and paid no school taxes! Maybe the former school board members (and fellow synagogue members)) that brought him here should be investigated as part of this conspiracy also.
P2YA February 14, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Hopefully those responsible will be required to pay back the funds and suffer criminal penalties for their misdeeds. Nevertheless, I'm fairly certain the School Board will still bestow upon residents their customary annual tax increase (never missing a year) even though a leak in the bottom of the bucket has been patched, or at least I hope it has. They'll simply find new extravagances to spend that money and more on.
jadami February 14, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Power with absence of accountability is a very dangerous combination !
Robert Roberts February 15, 2013 at 01:04 AM
I sent an e-mail, to then superintendent Lombardo, telling him about the secretary at Struble School that had been pilfering funds. I was a friend of this woman's daughter, and found out but didn't want to ruin my friendship with the daughter, yet I felt I needed to alert authority about it. And guess what, I got an email back from Lombardo saying that he would not take any anonymous tip seriously. Thank God Dr. Baugh has the commen sense to look into these allegations. Now Dr. Baugh, check on the head of the custodians, who uses his business vehicle for private use, on company time. And those custodians who spend half their shift on the loading docks smoking or playing cards should be the next ones to go. Good Job Dr. Baugh, keep it up. Also Gil Slowe, who was one of those arrested has a wife and two daughters who work for Bensalem Township School District, as well as grandkids in the Bensalem Schools, and at various points his daughters were "stealing education" from Bensalem Schools, as their children did not live in the district!
Gene Borish February 15, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Great job. Well done
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 02:25 AM
More evidence HB/SB76 needs to be brought to the floor, voted on, signed by Gov Corbett, and enacted ASAP! 31,000 homeowners under constant threat of foreclosure; 10,000 homes a year get seized in Pennsylvania alone. Now, we discover, local school boards can't be trusted with the hundred million dollars a year they collect from their fellow citizens. This is the legacy we burden our children and their children with?
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Thank you for standing up to be counted among the hardworking, devoted, and honest folks who deserve better than to be spit on by this school board. I've heard stories about how "some" school boards spend taxpayer money on anything and everything they can so the demand for financial sacrifice by property owners never ceases. HB/SB76 takes the authority to seize your home away from school boards and government. HB/SB76 eliminates your school board's power to levy taxes on you.
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 03:56 AM
BEFORE you go feeling sorry for teachers in your school district, find out, what their salaries [not including pension and other benefits] are: Just type in "county", "school district", and "assignment" at (Specific name not required), http://citizensvoice.com/news/data-center/database-pa-teacher-profile-database-2010-11-1.1333594?appSession=655356519321653&RecordID=228274&PageID=3&PrevPageID=2&cpipage=1&CPIsortType&CPIorderBy&cbCurrentRecordPosition=1
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Blatant disregard for property owners, renters, other taxpayers, and our children, whom they so often brag every time the school board threatens to raise the taxes, "It's For The Children". Liars and criminals, all.
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 04:12 AM
School board levying a School Property Tax on property owners to fund the vast majority of school district spending dates back to the 1830's, according to one Pennsylvania State senator, I recently heard speak on the matter at a public meeting. About ten years ago, our Pennsylvania state legislature figured out, how-to abolish the school board's authority to seize your home for non-payment of the school tax and completely eliminate, not merely rebate, refund, abate, reduce, or exempt part of the school property tax, shifting the funding away from the comparatively limited budgets and mostly fixed incomes of property owners into the pockets of everyone in the state who can afford to buy non-essential goods and services and by increasing the earned income tax from the current 3.1% to 4 or 5%. The net gain to the average Pennsylvania property owner is almost $300./month more in your pocket to buy some of those non-essential goods and services, or to pay off a loan sooner, or to buy better food to feed your family, $300./month to buy better health insurance, remodel or just fix something, etc. Pennsylvania HB/SB76 abolishes your school board's authority to take your house away from you. Property owners and therefore renters, no longer have to pay "rent" to the school board.
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 04:16 AM
In Pleasant Valley School District, Monroe County, Pa., a few years ago, the school board sold the taxpayer's school buses to a private bus company and then hired the bus company in place of school district employees. Though the school board did NOT lower property taxes, the district saved a couple of million dollars a year.
Carol Ann February 15, 2013 at 04:17 AM
That would be a question for your county district attorney, I suppose.
A Z Parisi February 15, 2013 at 04:24 PM
is it true that Meyers is retiring and collecting a pension? (If so why?) Amazing, any openings in Bensalem for honest hard working people? What a discrace. Whose managing the managers???????????????
Robert Roberts February 16, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I have now heard that one of those arrested as stealing, a current mechanic is NOT being fired, although they found school district property in his garage. What gives with this???????
bob close February 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM
bill klosz is a retired bensalem cop......LOL!!! hang em!!
Harry Smith February 16, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Bob, you positive it is the same Bill Klosz. It crossed my mind but was not sure.
paul cavaliere February 17, 2013 at 02:15 AM
throw them all in jail,there houses,custom cars & bank accounts should be seized to pay back the damages they caused. Unfortunately there families will have to pay the price for their crime too. they are criminals, I feel no pity for them, Paul Cavaliere
robby roberrts February 17, 2013 at 06:52 PM
So if someone has a problem, it is okay for them to steal from the taxpayers and their children?
Jim Smith February 17, 2013 at 10:14 PM
All they need is a few bleeding hearts, like Donna on the jury, and they will not spend a day in jail. I am not picking on you Donna, but a thief who has problems is still a thief. Remember there is a difference between a **REASON** and an **EXCUSE**. A reason is something that drove them to do what they did, but it does not EXCUSE them from being a tried as a thief.
bobby close February 18, 2013 at 05:00 PM
yes harry...klosz is a retired bensalem cop...my immediate relative used to work with him.....
Sharon February 18, 2013 at 06:35 PM
haha finally, someone listened...they still need to look at the cafeteria management in the high school...and look into their catering jobs
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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