U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(215) 861-8200
September 30, 2014

Bucks County Woman Charged with Embezzling from Levittown Business

PHILADELPHIA—Joan Baranek, 57, of Yardley, PA, is charged by information, filed yesterday, with embezzling $830,504 from her employer, between 2006 and 2012, and not reporting that income on her tax return, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Baranek was a vice president for sales at Airgas Safety, Inc., a subsidiary of Airgas, Inc., based in Levittown, Pennsylvania. She is charged with mail fraud and filing a false income tax return.

Baranek was responsible for designing and managing a sales incentive program for telesales centers (call centers). She purchased gift cards and other award prizes with her personal American Express card, and then submitted expense reports to Airgas for reimbursement. In support of her expense reports, she attached invoices for the gift cards and award prizes to the expense reports. According to the information, between May 2006 and December 2012, Baranek altered invoices or even created fictitious invoices, which she attached to her expense reports so as to obtain reimbursement for alleged promotional expenses that she never incurred. It is alleged that Baranek submitted approximately 200 expense reports claiming a total of $1.8 million in promotional expenses; of these, approximately 121 of the reports contained altered, fictitious, or duplicate invoices in support of the expensed promotional items, for a total of approximately $830,504 of fraudulent expenses.

It is further alleged that Baranek willfully made and subscribed a United States income tax return for calendar year 2008, that reported her taxable income as $155,419, when her actual taxable income approximately $360,944.

If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 23 years’ imprisonment, a one-year period of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Grigsby.

An indictment, information or criminal complaint is an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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