Business manager accused of theft Police say ex-employee of Earl Twp. firm took $90,000
BY RYAN ROBINSON, Staff Writer
Police on Wednesday charged the former business manager of an Earl Township car repair company with embezzling more than $90,000 from the firm.
The accused, Sean J. Van Den Dries, 44, of Elizabethtown, even gave himself a $5,000 raise without permission, New Holland police Lt. Jonathan Heisse wrote in a criminal complaint.
Leon Hurst, owner of Hurst's Tire Service, 3579 Division Highway, discovered in January that Van Den Dries had stolen from the company, according to the complaint.
Hurst fired Van Den Dries after he admitted taking the money and signing Hurst's name to checks, according to the complaint.
"(Van Den Dries) said he owed money to someone and wanted to find a quick way to pay him off," New Holland police Chief Donald Bowers said. The chief did not know what Van Den Dries did with the money.
A forensic audit by an accounting firm determined that Van Den Dries took $90,400 from Hurst's Tire between Feb. 7, 2011, and Jan. 9, 2013, Heisse said.
Van Den Dries issued unauthorized checks to himself and other people by forging Hurst's name on checks, Heisse said. He made unauthorized purchases with a company credit card and failed to deposit cash received from customers.
Van Den Dries also voided work orders for customers, himself and others, Heisse said.
He increased his own salary by $5,000 without permission, Heisse wrote in the criminal complaint.
Van Den Dries admitted he stole from the company and forged documents during an interview with Heisse on March 6, the lieutenant said.
Van Den Dries began working for Hurst in September 2010.
Police charged Van Den Dries with theft by unlawful taking or disposition and forgery before District Judge Rodney Hartman.
He was committed to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Leon Hurst did not immediately return a phone call for comment on Wednesday.
The stolen money has not been returned, Heisse said.
Van Den Dries worked as a truck driver, hauling lumber in the construction industry, before opening an emergency paralegal services business, according to a 2009 article in the Lancaster New Era.