Lisa Ellen Baumgartner, 49, 6237 Goshen Rd., Shawville, pleaded guilty to four counts of forgery, 14 counts of theft by deception and 90 counts of access device fraud. She was sentenced to 90 days to one year in jail and six years consecutive probation. She was ordered to pay $8,524 in restitution and was fined $3,520 plus costs. She must also complete 200 hours of community service and submit to DNA testing at a cost of $250.
The incidents began after Baumgartner was hired as the Goshen Township secretary in 2009.
Prior to sentencing, District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. explained this was an open plea and asked Judge Paul E. Cherry to give Baumgartner an appropriate sentence. He said she’d victimized Goshen Township, which he had “limited funds.”
Her attorney Frederick Neiswender noted that she cooperated with the investigation from the beginning and was “extremely remorseful.” He said she’d already paid more than $5,000 in restitution.
Cherry scolded Baumgartner, saying “you were in a position of trust. You breached that trust.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a supervisor of Goshen Township contacted police after he received a phone call from a local bank notifying him an account was overdrawn. The supervisor didn’t have any knowledge of this specific account.
After reviewing the bank records, he discovered Baumgartner had created the account without the knowledge of any of the township supervisors by forging one of the supervisor’s names. She also signed her own name giving her access to the account. She made deposits using township funds and then withdrew the money for her own use. This includes purchases and or withdrawals from various Sheetz stores and ATM’s.
Further investigation uncovered information that Baumgartner had forged other documents, made purchases for personal items with township funds and issued checks to herself.
When she was interviewed by police, Baumgartner admitted to opening the account, transferring funds into the new account and withdrawing money for her own use.