U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
(717) 221-4482
February 24, 2015

Former Township Tax Collector Charged Federally with Theft of $300,000 in Public Funds

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Criminal Information was filed today against Melissa Ann Arnold, 46, of York.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the Information alleges that during 2008 and 2009, Arnold stole more than $300,000 from tax payments made by citizens to Spring Garden Township, York County. Arnold was the Treasurer and Tax Collector for Spring Garden Township from 1995 until October 2009. Arnold was allegedly able to steal the tax payments because many of the checks were written out to her and, rather than deposit the checks into the Township’s account, she deposited them into her personal account.

The government also filed a plea agreement with the defendant which must be approved by the court. York County submitted an insurance claim for the funds and received full repayment. Arnold has entered into an agreement with the insurance company to pay back the full amount and has already paid part of the amount due.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police and Spring Garden Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 10 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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