Crawford County Treasurer Charged by PA Attorney General With Theft

Tom Corbett News Release

Crawford County Treasurer charged in connection with theft of funds from Crawford County Fair

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit yesterday filed criminal charges against Crawford County Treasurer Frederic A. Wagner, who also serves as the Treasurer of the Crawford County Fair.

Corbett said that Wagner, 71, of 9558 Franklin Pike, Meadville, is charged with conflict of interest and theft in connection with funds he allegedly took from the 2009 Crawford County Fair.  The proceeds of the fair are managed by the Crawford County Fair Board, but belong to the county.

Corbett explained that evidence and testimony concerning the alleged thefts was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges that were filed today.

According to the grand jury, Wagner, in his role as Treasurer for the fair, was responsible for maintaining records of fair revenues and making daily deposits.  The fair is primarily a cash-based operation, with proceeds coming from ticket sales, entry fees and other payments during the week of the fair.

Corbett said fair organizers had security cameras installed in the fair office prior to the 2009 event because of concerns and complaints about missing funds.

According to the grand jury, a review of the surveillance video from the Crawford County Fair office showed numerous incidents between August 22, 2009 and August 29, 2009, where Wagner allegedly removed cash from the area where fair proceeds were counted and placed that money in his pocket or his wallet.

Wagner is charged with one count of conflict of interest, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Additionally, Wagner is charged with one count each of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, both first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Wagner surrendered today to agents from the Attorney General’s Office and was preliminarily arraigned before Meadville Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi.  He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 20th, at 1:30 p.m., before Meadville Magisterial District Judge William D. Chisholm.

Wagner will be prosecuted in Crawford County by Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter, of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecution Section.

Corbett noted that the case is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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