A former assistant manager at Phoenixville (Pa.) Country Club has been charged with stealing more than $60,000 over an 18-month period. The new charges stem from an investigation that began in 2018 and led to the club’s bookkeeper being charged with embezzling more than $88,000, along with the resignation of its General Manager.
A woman who worked as a manager of the Phoenixville (Pa.) Country Club has been charged with stealing more than $60,000 from the club’s coffers over a period of 18 months, using some of the money to fund gambling trips at area casinos, the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa. reported.
Amy Clark, who served as an assistant manager at the club until leaving abruptly in July 2018 as Schuylkill Township (Pa.) Police began investigating financial wrongdoing there, is the subject of a criminal complaint filed in District Court in Phoenixville, the Daily Local News reported.
Clark, 48, of Limerick, Pa., was charged with multiple counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, criminal use of a communications device, dealing in unlawful proceeds, and conspiracy, the Daily Local News reported. She was arraigned on October 31 by District Judge John Bailey of West Whiteland Township (Pa.), who set bail at $50,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing before District Judge Joann Teyral of Phoenixville, Pa. was tentatively scheduled for November 6th.
Clark was then listed as the Assistant Clubhouse Manager at Cedarbrook Country Club in Blue Bell, Pa., the Daily Local News reported, but she is no longer shown on the staff directory on that club’s website.
Clark is the second former employee at Phoenixville CC who has been arrested in 2019 and charged with embezzling funds from the club, the Daily Local News reported. In March, township police charged Grace Elizabeth Crosson with taking more than $88,000 in funds from the club, using that money over a period of months before she was fired to pay for a “lavish lifestyle,” including luxuries from meals out and online purchases to concert tickets and two trips on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship.
Crosson, of West Chester, Pa. who had previously been convicted of theft from a business she worked at in West Goshen (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/bookkeeper-charged-with-club-embezzlement-had-previous-history/), is now awaiting trial on the theft charges in Chester County (Pa.) Common Pleas Court, the Daily Local News reported.
In his complaint against Clark, the Daily Local News reported, Schuylkill Township Officer Brian McCarthy wrote that it was while he was pursuing the overall investigation into financial problems at the country club that he noted suspicious transactions involving Clark and the club’s former General Manager, Anthony Lucas. Both Lucas and Clark had resigned on the same day, July 1, 2018, about two months after McCarthy was assigned to review complaints of theft made by officials at the club.
McCarthy wrote that he found that even though Clark was making less than $50,000 a year, both from her work at the country club and other income, she was spending far in excess of that at area casinos and hotels both locally and abroad, on medical expenses, and paying off more than $70,000 in credit card balances, the Daily Local News reported.
“I found it suspicious that Clark would have been able to sustain the lifestyle she was living with this type of income,” the officer wrote.
The accusations McCarthy made in his complaint are that Clark received 116 checks from the country club, all signed by Lucas, for a total of $60,381 that she was not entitled to, the Daily Local News reported. Some allegedly included inflated reimbursement for expenses that Clark claimed she had paid out of her own pockets, but could not be verified because all of the receipts for the club had mysteriously disappeared from the club before McCarthy began his investigation. The thefts took place between January 2017 and July 2018, when Clark and Lucas left the club.
Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone said that the investigation into the thefts at the club is ongoing, the Daily Local News reported. Only Crosson and Clark have thus far been charged.
“This defendant used her job at a country club to steal over $60,000. The stolen money from the club was her own personal piggy bank to finance a lifestyle beyond her means.,” Noone said in a statement, in which he praised McCarthy’s work investigating the thefts. “This is another reminder for businesses, organizations, and individuals to remain vigilant about their finances. Sadly, people often betray trust to feed their greed.”
The investigation into possible financial misdoings at Phoenixville CC began in May 2018, when Officer Curtis Ponds and McCarthy were assigned to the case by Police Chief James Fetterman after he had received information about a possible theft from the club, the Daily Local News reported.
According to the arrest affidavit for Crosson, Ponds spoke to club President Joseph Little after being assigned to investigate, the Daily Local News reported. Little told him that he had received information from Lucas, who said that Crosson had made a number of suspicious bank transactions that she was asked to clarify. At the time, Little directed Lucas to contact her, and Lucas then returned a short while later with $47,000 in cash, which he said he had recovered from Crosson.
According to the affidavit, over the next several months the club conducted an internal financial review of its bank records, and club officials found that 45 checks from the club’s Phoenixville Federal Bank account had been stolen, and that Crosson had made checks out to herself and deposited them in one of three accounts she held at PNC Bank, the Daily Local News reported
The investigators said that each of the checks they inspected after having been provided them by the club showed the signature of Lucas, the general manager, who reportedly had earlier told the club’s internal investigators he had not authorized them. Lucas, however, had resigned from the club previously and could not be reached by the police to discuss the transactions, the Daily Local News reported.
In all, the amount of money Cross allegedly embezzled using the stolen checks totaled $86,825, the Daily Local News reported. She also set up an automatic payment account at the club for Delaware County Community College, into which she funneled about $2,800 for her daughter’s tuition at that school, bringing the grand total of funds she is said to have stolen from the club to $88,573.