CLEARFIELD – A former employee is being accused of stealing more than $16,000 from an oil and gas service company when he worked there.
Michael A. Munchak, 55, of Clearfield is charged by Officer Julie Curry of the Lawrence Township police with three felony counts of other reason access device is unauthorized by issuer and two felony counts each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
In addition, Munchak is charged with one misdemeanor count each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
On Wednesday Munchak waived his right to a preliminary hearing during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. His bail was modified from $50,000 monetary to unsecured.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 17, 2017, police received a report from Castelli Development Corp. about a former employee making unauthorized purchases with a company-issued Lowe’s credit card.
Shane Nevling, the company’s vice president, said he made the discovery while reviewing financial documents. He indicated that the majority of the personal purchases occurred at the Lowe’s store in Clearfield.
The next day, Nevling provided police with records for the Lowe’s account assigned to Munchak. The account was paid for and controlled by Castelli Development Corp.
Munchak had been employed by the company in the maintenance department. He was employed between the dates of May 4, 2015 and Nov. 10, 2017.
He was issued a Lowe’s card and authorized to make purchases solely for the company’s use and benefit. He was not authorized to make personal or other purchases without authorization.
Nevling told police that Munchak was terminated Nov. 10, 2017. It was brought to his attention that there were numerous personal purchases for pre-paid Mastercards and other items, such as tools, pellets, a pellet stove, etc. on the Lowe’s account.
Upon discovery of the unauthorized purchases, Nevling said the company conducted an internal audit. He and his staff “cross-referenced” Lowe’s payment stubs beginning May 1, 2015 and ending Nov. 9, 2017 with all inventory that was on Castelli Development Corp. properties.
A total value of $16,108.88 – without Pennsylvania sales tax – was allegedly purchased by Munchak on the Lowe’s credit card and paid for by the company.
Nevling said Munchak sold the pre-paid Mastercards to the Rescue Hose & Ladder Co., also known as “The Smokehouse.” He allegedly received cash in exchange for the pre-paid cards purchased with the company’s Lowe’s credit card.
Police contacted the manager and she confirmed that Munchak had sold several pre-paid Visa and Mastercards to The Smokehouse.
On Dec. 7, 2017, police retrieved five Visa card receipts and 44 Mastercard receipts from the Rescue Hose & Ladder Co. The receipts were bearing a signature that resembled that of Munchak.
The receipts showed that Munchak had sold $4,816.65 worth of pre-paid cards to the Rescue Hose & Ladder Co., according to the affidavit.
On Jan. 19, police went to Lowe’s to obtain video surveillance footage of the transactions for the months of October and November. The video showed Munchak making several purchases with the Castelli Development Corp. credit card.